The Effects of a Politico-Economic Paradigm Shift
New Horizons in International Business series
Edited by Mai Thi Thanh Thai and Ekaterina Turkina
Chapter 5: The internationalization of SMEs in the Czech Republic: strategic and knowledge development issues
The aim of this chapter is to examine, by way of a case study, the internationalization process of an SME in the Czech Republic with a focus on its initial strategic decision-making, the implementation of the company's strategic plans and key aspects of knowledge acquisition and development. A key feature of the research is the integration of the internationalization process and management knowledge acquisition and development, both of which are important survival factors for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in today's competitive marketplace. For many transition economies, the internationalization of business activities has gained in importance during the past three decades, especially with an increasing rate of globalization and, in a broad sense, the removal of trade restrictions and the growth of economic blocs such as the European Union (EU). For many years, international business activity has become associated with large organizations. However, SMEs have been recognized as significant players, especially in niche markets, and their number far exceeds that of large businesses engaged in international business. The role of SMEs in the economic development of transition economies has long been recognized, for example, in stimulating competitiveness, innovation and economic growth (see, for example, Pollard and Simberova, 2002). The EU has for some years developed policies to assist SMEs in member states, providing, for example, support for small business development at local and regional levels.
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