Chapter 15: Exploring SMEs’ strategic response to the financial and economic crisis: empirical evidence from Catalonia
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Eleni Papaoikonomou, Xiaoni Li and Pere Segarra examine the perception among firms of the financial crisis that started in 2007 and how it may affect their strategic decision making. They exploit a dataset based on a survey conducted in 2011 among managers of Catalan SMEs. Applying a non-hierarchical typological analysis, the authors identify three clusters of firms characterized by the degree of perceived difficulties that they then grouped in relation to different strategic actions. The firms that perceive the crisis more negatively are also the ones that are found to take various strategic actions more frequently. Perceptions appear to play an important role, and this is quite challenging for managers and policy makers. Overall, cost-reduction measures are the most widely used, and this leads to the question of their appropriateness.

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