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Trading Places – SMEs in the Global Economy

A Critical Research Handbook

Edited by Lester Lloyd-Reason and Leigh Sear

Lester Lloyd-Reason and Leigh Sear bring together leading researchers and thinkers in this critical guide to the ongoing, worldwide research shaping the role played by SMEs within today’s global economy. The expert contributors contend that the past twenty years have seen an explosion in research into international SMEs, resulting in a considerable body of academic literature and thinking. This research, they argue, may merely serve to increase our lack of understanding in this area, and often results in myths and misconceptions upon which SME policies and support programmes have been developed and introduced.
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Chapter 12: SMEs in the Global Economy: Policy Perspectives

Leigh Sear and Lester Lloyd-Reason


Leigh Sear and Lester Lloyd-Reason Summary The previous chapters and contributions have critically assessed and reviewed a number of different aspects of how SMEs engage, develop and embed global activities and trading in developing a small and medium enterprise (SME). The chapters have not only explored the type of activities and paths to international trading which are pursued by SMEs (Part I), but also how these activities and paths are managed (Part II). In comparison to other commentaries on SMEs in the global economy, the book has also critically explored the skills, knowledge and learning associated with managing global operations (Part III). Within these contributions, a consistent theme has emerged in terms of the complexities and realities faced by SMEs in developing global activities and markets. Various chapters have identified that the trading environment for SMEs interested in developing global markets has shifted considerably over the last ten years, creating a set of new barriers, challenges and opportunities for the global SME. Through different learning styles, SMEs have developed a set of responses to overcome these challenges and opportunities, such as the rise of new ways of trading globally and the introduction of new forms of IT, often through learning by doing and learning by copying (Gibb 2000). As a result, however, a policy mismatch has emerged between the needs of SMEs trading globally and the responses of business support agencies and professionals. In the majority of developed market economies, central government agencies and other support agencies...

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