The volatile and ambiguous state of the global economy is changing prerequisites in the corporate environment paradigm. Contemporary small- and medium-sized businesses fill in the gaps in the value chains originally created by big businesses. Such a change in the global environment is calling for a completely new system of values bringing on new challenges for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The smart solution to overcome the barriers might be found in the course of sustainable development. The idea of sustainable development of the world economy was originally developed by large corporations and governments of different countries based on scarcity and irresponsible use of natural resources. The corporate approach is to gain positive economic effect through implementation of large-scale projects to transform business models. The society, as the main recipient of the ‘products’ of business and state activities, represents its interests in a heterogeneous way; In fact, there is ample evidence this is due to a number of social, economic, political and cross-cultural factors. In correlation with the above-mentioned vectors of interests of global stakeholders, the implementation of sustainable development policies includes the development of new products; the reorganization of production, incentive and process assessment systems; as well as leading cross-functional organizational changes. Despite the commitment of senior management and institutional efforts to spread the concept of sustainable development via global corporations, practical cases are often characterized by organizational resistance and inertia. According to some authors, cultural, structural and routine communications – emerging at different corporate levels – become agents of influence on large, medium and small firms (Banerjee, 2008). Such a combination of economic and social processes forms a special environment for the development of contemporary SMEs in Europe. The chapter pinpoints the challenges and drivers for SMEs’ development in an ambiguous environment, as well as the prerequisites for the formation of sustainable development of the business as a state of art.
Belyaeva, Z. (2018), "Business Environment Challenges and Trends for Contemporary SMEs in Europe", Rudawska, E. (Ed.) The Sustainable Marketing Concept in European SMEs, Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 13-28. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78754-038-520180002Download as .RIS
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