SMEs in a Globalised World

SMEs in a Globalised World

Survival and Growth Strategies on Europe’s Geographical Periphery

Edited by Helena Lenihan, Bernadette Andreosso-O’Callaghan and Mark Hart

This insightful book shows how small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from some of the traditionally less dynamic peripheral economies of the ‘old’ EU – namely Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain – have responded to the twin challenges of globalisation and industrial restructuring. Through a series of unique case studies the contributing authors discuss how these economies, and in particular the SME sector, can be transformed.

Chapter 1: SMEs in a Globalised World: Conceptual Issues

Helena Lenihan, Bernadette Andreosso-O’Callaghan and Mark Hart

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, economics and finance, industrial economics, regional economics, urban and regional studies, regional economics


Helena Lenihan, Bernadette Andreosso-O’Callaghan and Mark Hart THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS – NEW RULES FOR SMEs? Since the end of 2007 the economies of Europe have undergone a number of seismic financial shifts which have transmitted themselves into the business and consumer sectors enforcing recessionary processes which brought to an end the long period of benign growth over the last 15 years. The global economic crisis spinning out of the financial sector in the last two years has abruptly brought into question the nature of the emerging consensus on the processes of globalisation and how they can be harnessed to provide development stimuli in many underdeveloped regions and nations of European economies. This book was originally conceived in the Autumn of 2006 around a series of presentations at the 9th European Network on Industrial Policy (EUNIP) International Conference at the University of Limerick in Ireland which provided an opportunity to document and understand in some depth the ways in which some of the more peripheral economies of the European Union (EU) had managed to transform their economies through the engagement of an indigenous small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector in a global market place. We recognise that the deepening global economic crisis has once again changed the terms of engagement for these economies and their business population and that many commentators and policymakers are struggling to develop policies which remain relevant in a rapidly changing economic context. What we are sure of is that the role of foreign direct investment (FDI)...

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