A Critical Research Handbook
Edited by Lester Lloyd-Reason and Leigh Sear
Chapter 4: Trade Trends in Transatlantica: A Profile of SMEs in the United States and Europe
4 Trade trends in Transatlantica: a proﬁle of SMEs in the United States and Europe Leslie E. Palich and D. Ray Bagby Introduction Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have long found opportunities in the global economy; and as international business has expanded, these opportunities have grown in proportion (Karagozoglu and Lindell, 1998). Today, however, globalization is doing more than creating a new global market that is merely a larger version of yesterday’s marketplace. New forces and economic structures are combining to produce global business opportunities that are quantitatively greater and qualitatively diﬀerent. To operate most eﬀectively in the modern world economy, SMEs need to develop an awareness of its changing nature. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a proﬁle of the international activities of SMEs in the United States and Europe and to identify and explore a number of changes aﬀecting global potentials for these ﬁrms, as reﬂected in secondary data compiled by the U.S. International Trade Administration and the Observatory of European SMEs. In their contribution to the Harvard Business Review, Hermann Simon and Max Otte (2000) referred to the combined region addressed in this study as ‘Transatlantica’, recognizing that these two major trade blocs have more than an ocean in common. Compared to other nations in the world (including the advanced economies of Asia), ‘Transatlantica’s countries are much further along in restructuring their trade portfolios around specialized industrial goods’ (Simon and Otte, 2000, p. 20). They have many similarities. But...
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