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Strategic entrepreneurship: Personal values and characteristics influencing SMEs' decision-making and outcomes. The Gemar Balloons case

Rosa Lombardi (University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy)
Riccardo Tiscini (Universitas Mercatorum, Rome, Italy)
Raffaele Trequattrini (University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, Cassino, Italy)
Laura Martiniello (Universitas Mercatorum, Rome, Italy)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 16 March 2020

Issue publication date: 20 May 2021




The purpose of this paper is to explore the characteristics and personal values of a successful entrepreneur in order to understand the quality of such characteristics. Thus, this paper aims to investigate how these characteristics and personal values impact strategic decision-making and outcomes driving the success and growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).


The research question is answered through a single case study approach based on the case of the charismatic and flourishing entrepreneur and owner of Gemar Balloons, a balloon-manufacturing company established in the centre of Italy a century ago.


The paper shows how the success of SMEs in a dynamic environment is influenced by the central resource, “the entrepreneur”, whose entrepreneurial mindset, culture and leadership are essential and partially replicable. They allow strategic management to seek opportunities and develop innovation, achieving competitive advantages and creating wealth.

Practical implications

This paper contributes to an understanding of how values and specific personal characteristics establish an entrepreneurial mindset, culture and leadership, and whether and how these factors are exportable and repeatable. In this way, it allows a better understanding of how possible it is to establish an entrepreneurial mindset and culture by working on a younger generation's values and characteristics. Moreover, it explains why and how entrepreneurial SME leaders are best able to make decisions and manage resources strategically to create competitive advantages.


The paper is new because it shows the distinctive values and characteristics influencing the emerging strategic decision-making model and corporate outcomes.



Lombardi, R., Tiscini, R., Trequattrini, R. and Martiniello, L. (2021), "Strategic entrepreneurship: Personal values and characteristics influencing SMEs' decision-making and outcomes. The Gemar Balloons case", Management Decision, Vol. 59 No. 5, pp. 1069-1084.



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