SME internationalization as a challenge to interpersonal communication competence An analysis of interpersonal communication competence in networking and collaboration

Pipsa Purhonen (1)
(1) University of Jyväskylä, Finland, Finland


This paper investigates how the internationalization of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) poses a challenge to the interpersonal communication competence of SME owners, managers and employees. Interpersonal communication competence is discussed particularly in the contexts of networking and business collaboration. Collaborative arrangements even with competitors are needed in today’s global business world. Through collaborative interaction it is possible, for instance, to reduce development and production costs or channel resources to creating new innovative products (Stohl & Walker 2002: 237). The expansion of business activities across international borders, in particular, requires networking and collaborative interaction regionally, nationally and internationally. Based on the literature of interpersonal and intercultural communication competence, interpersonal networks and collaborative interaction, this paper provides an analysis of the interpersonal communication competence specific to and needed in the context of SME internationalization.

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Pipsa Purhonen
(Primary Contact)
Author Biography

Pipsa Purhonen, University of Jyväskylä, Finland

MA Pipsa Purhonen is a doctoral student in speech communication at the Department of Communication, University of Jyväskylä, Finland. She has a post as a full-time researcher in the Doctoral School of Communication Studies. Her research focuses on the internationalization of Finnish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to China as a challenge to interpersonal communication competence. From September 2008 to August 2009 Pipsa Purhonen will work as a visiting scholar at the Centre of Asian Studies, The University of Hong Kong.

Purhonen, P. (2008). SME internationalization as a challenge to interpersonal communication competence: An analysis of interpersonal communication competence in networking and collaboration. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 8(3), 1–13.

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