Previous studies have shown that small- and medium-sized manufacturing firms make a substantial contribution to national economies in terms of job and wealth creation (Daly & McCann, 1992; Schreyer, 1996). However, many smaller firms face unprecedented change arising from the increasingly competitive and changing environment in which they operate (Coopers and Lybrand, 1997; D’Aveni, 1994). Much of this competition often emanates from larger firms with greater resource capabilities. Firms of all sizes are increasingly turning to strategy as a means of achieving competitive advantage. Strategy research is mainly directed towards examining why firms differ in performance (Barnett & Burgelman, 1996; Schendel, 1996). Strategy has ‘undergone, in the 1990s, a major shift in focus regarding the sources of sustainable competitive advantage: from industry to firm specific effects’ (Spanos & Lioukas, 2001). This involves more than strategy formulation — it is about making choices based on competing alternatives and implementing the chosen direction using the organisational processes and systems (Shaw, Gupta, & Delery, 2002; Stopford, 2001). Other writers, such as Pettigrew and Fenton (2000), acknowledge that ‘soft’ aspects are an integral part of the evolutionary nature of strategy, and include cultural influences (Chakravarthy & Doz, 1992) and leadership (McNulty & Pettigrew, 1999).
O’Regan, N., Ghobadian, A. and Jaseem Ahmad, S. (2008), "Chapter 14 Drivers of Strategic Direction in High Technology Small FirmsNicholas O’Regan et al.Drivers of Strategic Direction in High Technology Small Firms", Groen, A., Van Der Sijde, P., Oakey, R. and Cook, G. (Ed.) New Technology-Based Firms in the New Millennium (New Technology Based Firms in the New Millennium, Vol. 6), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 219-237. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1876-0228(08)06014-6Download as .RIS
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