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Strategy, structure, environment and performance in Spanish firms

Eva M. Pertusa‐Ortega (Department of Business Management, University of Alicante, Alicante, Spain)
Enrique Claver‐Cortés (Department of Business Management, University of Alicante, Alicante, Spain)
José F. Molina‐Azorín (Department of Business Management, University of Alicante, Alicante, Spain)

EuroMed Journal of Business

ISSN: 1450-2194

Publication date: 18 July 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to jointly analyse external adjustment (environment‐strategy) and internal adjustment (strategy‐structure), and their influence on firm performance in a set of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) of a European‐Mediterranean region in order to check whether models mainly validated in US firms are applied in this context.

Design/methodology/approach

Following a quantitative methodological approach, a survey was applied to a sample of 91 SMEs of Alicante (Spain) from different industries in order to contrast nine hypotheses. Various statistical procedures were used, such as cluster analysis and analysis of variance (ANOVA). Moreover, external and internal adjustment indices have been created.

Findings

Findings show that traditional theoretical models are not exactly applicable in a context of European‐Mediterranean SMEs. Cost leadership strategy is not associated with a favourable environment, and innovation differentiation strategy is not associated with organic structures. The relationship between adjustment and performance is partially confirmed.

Research limitations/implications

The caveats normally associated with survey methods apply, as do those related to the use of cross‐sectional and managerial perceptions data. Besides, the findings are limited to SMEs.

Practical implications

Implications for SME managers regarding the fit between environment, strategy, structure and its effect on performance are addressed. The results can serve as guidelines that will help managers in the formulation and adoption of their strategies.

Originality/value

The interest of this paper is that two issues often treated separately are now jointly analysed: internal and external adjustments. Moreover, it supplies empirical evidence of these issues in a European‐Mediterranean region, in which no similar studies have been carried out until now.

Keywords

Citation

Pertusa‐Ortega, E.M., Claver‐Cortés, E. and Molina‐Azorín, J.F. (2008), "Strategy, structure, environment and performance in Spanish firms", EuroMed Journal of Business, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 223-239. https://doi.org/10.1108/14502190810891245

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited