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Edited by Pervez N. Ghauri and V. H. Manek Kirpalani

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Edited by Pervez N. Ghauri and V. H. Manek Kirpalani

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V.H. Manek Kirpalani and Pervez N. Ghauri

This conclusions and recommendations chapter summarizes the work in the previous chapters, briefly analyses such work, and presents the overall conclusions drawn by the editors. What is clear is that governments must support growth in their internationalizing SMEs. The macro-picture demands that tax policy actively support the state social and economic policy and favour the pursuit of the latter goals. SMEs can become the major entrepreneurial actors in the future. A series of recommendations and future research suggestions are laid out, which will be specifically useful to SMEs, and in line with how technology factors are propelling economies and society forward in the world of the future.

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Edited by Pervez N. Ghauri and V. H. Manek Kirpalani

This impressive Handbook provides a dynamic perspective on the international entrepreneurial strategies of SMEs, including the role and experience of their founders, as well as the collaboration of these SMEs in networks with larger firms. The expert contributors from all over the world and the editors explore the origin and evolution of internationalizing SMEs, the changing history and the future outlook of this sector. They study the effects of different cultures on the origin and growth of entrepreneurship and SMEs. The Handbook also outlines the various types of Born Globals that emerge from different parts of the world.
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Alojzy Z. Nowak

SMEs account for nearly 99 per cent of all business entities in the EU, generating around 60 per cent of the EU’s GDP. Further, they are a key link in regional development. This chapter is about the importance of SMEs in Poland. It points out that it is becoming more popular for SMEs to participate in clusters of new technologies or consortia whose cooperation is not only confined to similar levels of research or technology, but relies on better recognition of the specific nature of a given local market, including its cultural aspect. In Poland it is the region that increasingly becomes a place of interactions necessary for emergence of modernization processes while the characteristics and specific potential of each region make it easier to reduce the risk inherent in innovation. Furthermore, innovative activities of companies in the twenty-first century will take into account profit maximization and human needs, in which the following technologies will play important roles: green, medical, information, biotech and nanotech. Moreover, the idea of the knowledge triangle of research & technology, education & innovation, and links with business, including SMEs is brought out, plus financial and tax policy issues for SMEs.

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István Molnár and Pál Belyó

In this chapter the authors focus on the environment of SMEs and the national or international political and economic system that enables and supports SMEs in global competition. Therefore, a comprehensive view of SMEs is applied, while the overall information system and its efficient use and management is underlined. The case of Hungarian SMEs is discussed from historic, national, EU and global macroeconomic perspectives. The authors argue that with an increased speed of globalization, there is a need to move towards a more complex view of the SMEs to find the best fitting and most appropriate level of policy intervention and apply fact-based decision processes. The Hungarian case clearly demonstrates that competition and collaboration are simultaneously present on the global market and that only long-term, transparent national policies, along with targeted EU support can contribute to a successful SME recovery and a subsequent dynamic growth. Changing the business culture should include not only the assurance of proper financial support, education and training but also the use of information technology to conduct business (e.g., e-business), furthermore the collection of data, analysis of market data and market information and the generation of timely, accurate knowledge for decision-makers.

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Rotem Shneor and Kalanit Efrat

Much of born global research focuses on early stages of the international new venture creation process, as well as on the motivations and drivers for its creation. However, the current chapter presents a study seeking to contribute to the understanding of born globals’ post-establishment performance. More specifically, the chapter presents a study examining the effects of their localization strategy choices and market intelligence gathering efforts on their performance. This is done through an analysis of survey data collected from 69 Israeli born global firms during 2012–13. The study reveals that localization efforts with respect to sales force management significantly impacts born globals’ performance. However, localization efforts with respect to product, price and promotions do not affect their performance. In addition, the study also shows that market intelligence generation efforts also have a significant impact. Finally, globals’ maturity level, as captured by three company age groups, did not affect their performance. Accordingly, the study contributes in shifting research focus to born globals’ performance, while highlighting the importance of marketing research and localization of sales force management for enhancing their performance. Moreover, by examining the relevance of marketing localization strategies for born globals, the current study also extends our understanding of their marketing practices. The chapter concludes with acknowledged limitations and suggested implications for future research and practice.

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Saara Julkunen, Mika Gabrielsson and Markus Raatikainen

This research focuses on networking strategies, which have become an important theme in SME internationalization research. The empirical research follows an in-depth case study approach, and examines two cases – an international new venture (INV) and a traditional internationalizer, both originating from Finland, a small and open economy (SMOPEC). Based on the case evidence we suggest that firm internationalization and entrepreneurial processes are reflected in an international entrepreneurial strategy, which has a strong influence on the development of firms’ networking. The novelty of our research stems from that we find that INVs follow a global customer segment–driven strategy, whereas the traditionally internationalizing firm follows a geographical market–based strategy, resulting in different types of networking behaviour. While the INV seeks to partner with a multinational corporation (MNC) that has access to global segments, the traditional firm seeks to leverage an MNC with strong geographic organizations. For both firms it becomes important to decrease their interdependence on their MNC partners by developing their distinctiveness, but whereas the INV seeks to become an invaluable part of the MNC’s global offering, the traditional firm decreases dependence by offering strong local services. The practical implications are based on recommendations relating to how entrepreneurs with different approaches to internationalizing SMEs could network with larger partners and how to obtain benefits from this partnership to become an independent global player.