Handbook of Research on International Entrepreneurship
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Handbook of Research on International Entrepreneurship

Edited by Léo-Paul Dana

This unique reference book provides an array of diverse perspectives on international entrepreneurship, a new and emerging field of research that blends concepts and methodologies from more traditional social sciences. The Handbook includes chapters written by top researchers of economics and sociology, as well as academic leaders in the fields of entrepreneurship and international business. State-of-the-art contributions provide up-to-date literature reviews, making this book essential for the researcher of entrepreneurship and the internationalisation of entrepreneurs.
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Chapter 7: A Typology

Hamid Etemad


Hamid Etemad The existing literature on the growth and internationalization of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) does not consider the presence of multinational enterprises (MNEs) in SMEs’ competitive space and disregards their corresponding impact on SMEs’ internationalization patterns. Neither does the literature consider the impact of networks (and clusters) of local firms on SMEs, regardless of the size. Nor does it compare their respective effects and impacts on the affected SMEs. This chapter presents a competitive typology with six layers of competitive intensity at the top of which MNEs, as a network of small and large firms, spread around the world, compete globally with large and small firms regardless of size, location and extent of their internationalization. The extensive MNE subsidiary networks make up the competitive context within which the growth-oriented SMEs, who aspire to internationalize, must compete in the global markets. Local industrial clusters, conceptualized similarly but at the local level and with a lesser competitive advantage than that of the MNEs, occupy the middle layers of the hierarchy in the typology. The typical independent, local, small firms reside in the lowest level of the typology. The chapter examines a typical subsidiary’s evolutionary pattern from the perspective of the competitors, and global competition, in order to suggest counter-strategies for the competing SMEs who aspire to globalize effectively and strategically. Interactions between the inner dynamics of MNEs, learning and regional networks (or clusters) and their respective impacts are combined to formulate these competitive counter-strategies. Globalizing SMEs must...

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