Many, if not most, small to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) are subject to the impacts of globalisation. This article seeks to explore the extra dimension of challenge to their already difficult environments when they have to venture into the world‐trade system.
Recent research undertaken separately by Polish, Italian, Norwegian and UK collaborators examined eight case studies of disparate smaller companies with international operations. This article brings together the common features found, and discusses them in terms of structural drivers and dynamic implications.
Research findings include the stretching of capabilities in supporting customers in unfamiliar markets, the internal competition for funds in pursuing multiple international markets, the importance of word‐of‐mouth marketing, and the pressures on R&D functions.
The critical importance of balance in smaller enterprises where resources are likely to be tightly constrained is highlighted, and the article observes that, while some of the challenges apply to many firms and other contexts, they are especially critical in SMEs.
This article identifies common pressures and challenges facing SMEs when going global, and uses causal loop diagramming to capture the drivers and consider longer‐term dynamic implications.
Winch, G. and Bianchi, C. (2006), "Drivers and dynamic processes for SMEs going global", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 13 No. 1, pp. 73-88. https://doi.org/10.1108/14626000610645324Download as .RIS
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