Edited by Léo-Paul Dana
Chapter 7: A Typology
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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