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Article
Publication date: 11 January 2008

M.H. Bala Subrahmanya

This paper aims to trace the evolution of industrial subcontracting in Japan, over a period of time. Subsequently, the transition in the spread and depth of subcontracting…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to trace the evolution of industrial subcontracting in Japan, over a period of time. Subsequently, the transition in the spread and depth of subcontracting along with relative performance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Japanese industry over a period of time are to be analyzed.

Design/methodology/approach

First, a historical over view of the evolution of industrial subcontracting in Japan is discussed based on literature and discussion with experts. Secondly, based on secondary data, the industry‐wise trends of subcontracting and performance of small, medium and large enterprises are analyzed.

Findings

Japanese industrial subcontracting and structure evolved over the period, particularly after World War II, represents integration and mutual coordination among small, medium and large enterprises across industries. Along with the growth of multi‐layered subcontracting, labour productivities of SMEs have improved as that of large though value added/value of output has remained more or less at the same level. Overall, there is reason to argue that SMEs have benefited from the system of subcontracting in Japanese manufacturing towards its overall competitiveness.

Practical implications

It would be worthwhile to promote multi‐layered industrial subcontracting, particularly with locally based/newly entered TNCs at the helm of the pyramid, in industrializing countries like India, to enhance the competitiveness of local SMEs.

Originality/value

This paper provides the reader with an understanding of evolution of industrial subcontracting in Japan since World War I and its recent trends and throws light on how SMEs have improved their performance over a period of time.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2015

Graciela Corral de Zubielqui, Janice Jones, Pi-Shen Seet and Noel Lindsay

The purpose of this paper is to understand how and why small to medium enterprises (SMEs) access knowledge from external actors in general and from higher education…

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1675

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand how and why small to medium enterprises (SMEs) access knowledge from external actors in general and from higher education institutions (HEIs) in particular and what is the extent to which these knowledge access pathways affect SME innovativeness.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper involved both quantitative and qualitative approaches: a survey of 1,226 SMEs and a mini case study to follow-up on issues arising from the survey analysis. Survey data were analysed using both non-parametric and multivariate Poisson regression analysis. The case study was based on a medium-sized manufacturing firm in South Australia.

Findings

While there are significant differences between the micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, the evidence suggests that SMEs generally use “generic” university–industry knowledge transfer pathways (e.g. published research results) rather than university–industry links with high “relational” involvement. More significantly, the results indicate that SMEs are more likely to rely on organisations other than universities and related R&D enterprises for knowledge acquisition like clients/customers or suppliers. While collaboration is most likely to occur within the same state/territory, or Australia, many SMEs also collaborate internationally, usually as part of normal supplier–customer relationships, reinforcing knowledge acquisition from organisationally proximate partners. These findings are also supported by the case study.

Research limitations/implications

This research was limited to surveying SMEs in one geographic (metropolitan) region in Australia. It also does not account for the different patterns of HEI–SME interactions in different industry sectors. There is also only one case study.

Originality/value

First, the research adds to the few field studies that have investigated accessing knowledge for innovation among SMEs. Specifically, the research contributes to an understanding of the heterogeneous roles that different actors play in facilitating knowledge access for improving innovative SMEs outcomes. Second, the research does not treat all SMEs similarly in terms of size effects but instead accounts for differing SME sizes and how this affects their selection of knowledge access pathways. Third, the research contributes to a small number of studies that attempt to understand how HEIs and SMEs can work better together in the context of a regional innovation system, especially one that is relatively less competitive to the larger economy.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 30 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2007

J.M.P. Venter and B. de Clercq

In his 2006 State of the Nation Address, President Thabo Mbeki indicated that the regulatory environment for small businesses would be improved, as this sector plays an…

Abstract

In his 2006 State of the Nation Address, President Thabo Mbeki indicated that the regulatory environment for small businesses would be improved, as this sector plays an important role in the national strategy for accelerated and shared growth. The aim of this study is to determine whether the size of an enterprise and the sector in which the enterprise operates has an impact on how the enterprise’s tax responsibilities are administered and managed. A survey was conducted amongst small and medium enterprises in the manufacturing, retail and business services sectors in Gauteng. The study focused on Gauteng because the majority of small, medium and microenterprises (SMMEs) are located in this province. The study found that most small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the business services sector outsource their tax responsibilities because they lack the time needed to manage these functions. It was also found that the size and type of organisation affects the role taxation inputs play in business decisions. The SMEs included in the survey preferred a reduction in interest and penalties charged as a taxation relief measure.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1022-2529

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2007

J.M.P. Venter and B. de Clercq

In his 2006 State of the Nation Address, President Thabo Mbeki indicated that the regulatory environment for small businesses would be improved, as this sector plays an…

Abstract

In his 2006 State of the Nation Address, President Thabo Mbeki indicated that the regulatory environment for small businesses would be improved, as this sector plays an important role in the national strategy for accelerated and shared growth. The aim of this study is to determine whether the size of an enterprise and the sector in which the enterprise operates has an impact on how the enterprise’s tax responsibilities are administered and managed. A survey was conducted amongst small and medium enterprises in the manufacturing, retail and business services sectors in Gauteng. The study focused on Gauteng because the majority of small, medium and microenterprises (SMMEs) are located in this province. The study found that most small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the business services sector outsource their tax responsibilities because they lack the time needed to manage these functions. It was also found that the size and type of organisation affects the role taxation inputs play in business decisions. The SMEs included in the survey preferred a reduction in interest and penalties charged as a taxation relief measure.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1022-2529

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Book part
Publication date: 24 October 2015

Simone Guercini and Andrea Runfola

This paper deals with the international expansion of manufacturing small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through the opening of retail outlets in foreign countries…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper deals with the international expansion of manufacturing small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through the opening of retail outlets in foreign countries. The paper develops and discusses five research questions.

Methodology/approach

The paper discusses emerging data from the analysis of a database set up in recent years. In particular, it deals with 1,419 retail operations regarding 246 Italian fashion brands in 77 foreign markets during the period from 2005 and 2010.

Findings

The paper points out that retail operations are largely used by Italian fashion SMEs to internationalize. This form of entry in foreign markets is used to develop in both mature and emerging markets and it seems related to the brand potential of Italian fashion SMEs abroad.

Research limitations

The paper is limited to the case of Italian fashion brands and to the period 2005–2010.

Originality/value

The paper considers an unexplored area of the internationalization theory of SMEs, that of the development abroad through retail store openings. The paper offers insights on the extent to what this strategy is used by Italian fashion brands.

Details

International Marketing in the Fast Changing World
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-233-7

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Article
Publication date: 17 April 2007

Shiaw‐Wen Tien, Yi‐Chan Chung, Chih‐Hung Tsai, Chia‐Hsiang Hsieh and Hung‐Hsi Chen

This research probes into the execution of small and medium‐sized enterprises’ value creativities by a difference analysis with different classifications, different…

Abstract

This research probes into the execution of small and medium‐sized enterprises’ value creativities by a difference analysis with different classifications, different capital, different turnover, different employees, and different established years. This study develop a questionnaire about value creativity with five dimensions and thirty‐five items according to “Valuation” by McKinsey and Company, Inc. and Copeland et al., such as: “Aspiration and target,” “Portfolio management,” “Organization design,” “Process management,” and “Business and individual performance management.” The results are as follows: (1) Most small and medium‐ sized enterprises (SMEs) have executed value creativities; (2) There is a difference in the execution of value creativities between the livelihood industry and the chemical industry; the execution of value creativities by livelihood industry is better than the chemical industry; (3) For value creativities of the execution of different capital and turnover for SMEs, bigger entities are better than smaller ones; (4) For the value creativities of the execution of different numbers of staff in SMEs, those with more staff are better than those with fewer staff; (5) For the value creativities of the execution of different established years for SMEs, those established longer are better than those established shorter.

Details

Asian Journal on Quality, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1598-2688

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Book part
Publication date: 26 August 2016

Ansgar Zerfass and Luisa Winkler

Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are seldom the focus of corporate communication research. However, they are the heart of the European economy and, as such, of…

Abstract

Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are seldom the focus of corporate communication research. However, they are the heart of the European economy and, as such, of utmost importance for communication science and practice. This chapter contributes to the body of knowledge by investigating how corporate communication is practised and by understanding how communication prevails in small and medium firms in Germany. The chapter starts with a clarification of current definitions of such organisations, which are very heterogeneous. Special features of SMEs – like the strong position of founder and their proximity to the company – have to be taken into account when analysing communication structures and activities. Empirical insights based on a survey of 572 respondents show that most SMEs understand corporate communication as dialogue and their governance structure for communication is oriented towards the top management. The most important communication instruments used by SMEs are websites, media relations, personal communication and events/trade fairs. Findings are presented and linked to an overarching perspective of strategic communication.

Details

The Management Game of Communication
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-716-8

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Book part
Publication date: 19 February 2021

Oluwasola Oni

In many developing and developed countries, small/medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are a very important part of the economy and are commonly referred to as the lifeblood of…

Abstract

In many developing and developed countries, small/medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are a very important part of the economy and are commonly referred to as the lifeblood of the economy. SMEs in Nigeria have contributed around 48% of the national gross domestic product (GDP) in recent times and account for about 17.4 million jobs. Considering how much they contribute to national economies, it is expedient to seek ways in which they can derive value from innovative technologies to further strengthen their position. Web 2.0 technologies and associated social media applications such as social network sites, microblogging, weblogs and similar technologies are known to improve communication and collaboration among employees and customers. SMEs typically have a small budget for branding, advertising and corporate communication. Consequently, social media provides a ready and inexpensive tool that can be used to communicate with customers and for internal communication and collaboration. Several studies in the area of diffusion of innovations to SMEs argue that they do not usually use adopted technologies to its full potential and as such do not add as much value to the business. Extant research on corporate communication using social media focuses on large organizations’ adoption and use of the technology with little focus on SMEs. This contribution aims to fill this gap by considering how SMEs in Nigeria adopt and use social media to improve corporate communication.

Details

Strategic Corporate Communication in the Digital Age
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-264-5

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2014

Caroline Nicholas and Michael Fruhmann

This paper will consider the rationale and effectiveness of SMEsupport policies in the award of public procurement (PP) contracts. One group of economic justifications for…

Abstract

This paper will consider the rationale and effectiveness of SMEsupport policies in the award of public procurement (PP) contracts. One group of economic justifications for SME policies derives from the notion that awarding PP contracts to SMEs (and micro-enterprises) encourages innovation, entrepreneurship and so contributes to job creation, economic growth and can support local and regional developments to the benefit of wider society. The link between SMEs, innovation and economic growth has often been assumed in PP policy-making. While some studies show higher growth rates in small than larger firms, others indicate, to the contrary, that many micro and small enterprises, and particularly informal businesses, are not actively seeking to grow. This paper will assess how effective SME policies may be, and questions the extent to which they are properly evaluated.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1999

J.G. Boocock, J. Loan‐Clarke, A.J. Smith and J. Whittaker

This paper presents findings from a major research study investigating management training and development (MTD) activity within small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs

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Abstract

This paper presents findings from a major research study investigating management training and development (MTD) activity within small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) in the East Midlands. Despite the fact that the academic evidence linking training and development with business performance remains inconclusive, the previous UK Government clearly signalled the importance of improving skills levels to promote business success. The Training and Enterprise Councils (TECs) are charged with a key role in stimulating MTD activity within SMEs, a sector where MTD has traditionally been given a low priority. The system of government‐backed support for SMEs is currently under review, and the continued existence of the TECs in their present form largely depends upon their ability to provide proactive, tailored solutions to local business needs. It is, therefore, an extremely opportune time to review the TECs’ performance. Based on detailed analysis of the activities of six TECs in the East Midlands, the paper examines how they define MTD, establish the MTD needs of SMEs within their respective catchment areas, and formulate appropriate strategies to meet those needs. The reasons why generic MTD products are not generally taken up by SMEs are explored; supply‐side obstacles hinder the promotion of generic products by the TECs and demand is constrained as owner‐managers are reluctant to adopt such initiatives, although the boundaries between these two sets of factors are blurred. After reviewing the ways in which the TECs evaluate their activities, the paper concludes by offering some recommendations as to how the TECs could increase the take‐up of MTD by SMEs and improve the targeting of SMEs for assistance.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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