استراتژی بین المللی و عملکرد؛ دسته بندی انواع استراتژیک در شرکتهای کوچک و متوسط
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|19567||2012||14 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||10062 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Business Review, Volume 21, Issue 3, June 2012, Pages 369–382
This paper identifies different strategic types of internationalised SMEs, in so doing providing managers and entrepreneurs with a much better understanding of the main strategic options and their relationship with the international performance of firms. We provide a theoretical analysis of strategic orientations and strategic behaviour in international SMEs, followed by an empirical investigation based on a sample of Italian SMEs. The SMEs are grouped into strategic types using cluster analysis, and the link between strategic type and international performance is subsequently analysed using logistic regression. The empirical data suggest that there are four broad strategic types, namely an entrepreneurial/growth-oriented group of firms, a customer-oriented group, a product/inward-oriented cluster, and a further group of firms that lacks strategic orientation. The characteristics of the strategic clusters are discussed, and the regression results show that a clear and proactive strategic orientation and its consistency with business strategy leads to improved international performance. This confirms the positive and highly significant role of strategic types.
The relationship between differentiated strategic orientations, related strategic behaviours and the subsequent international performance of firms is a relevant issue for entrepreneurs, managers and policy-makers. This topic has been neglected in international business research. Research into possible alternative strategic typologies is scattered and the same holds for the link between strategic orientation, internationalisation and the overall performance of the firm. The research gap regarding the association between strategy and internationalisation has been highlighted in two reviews. Melin (1992) not only emphasizes the missing link between internationalisation and strategy, but he also highlights the deterministic and static nature of most contributions. Ricart, Enright, Ghemawat, Hart, and Khanna (2004), referring to the 84 papers published in the Journal of International Business Studies between 1970 and 2003, identify only eleven papers that in some way dealt with overall strategic issues, Additionally, in most of the reviewed contributions, the large multinational corporation (MNC) is the centre of attention, while the international strategy of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) remains a largely neglected research field ( Bell, Crick, & Young, 2004). The lack of research into SME business-level strategising might be partially explained by the fact that SME behaviour has been described as essentially unplanned and reactive (Bilkey & Tesar, 1977) or at best opportunistic (Westhead, Wright, & Ucbasaran, 2002). However, Bell et al. (2004) note that “the absence of an explicit and formal strategy does not equate to the lack of strategic vision, whether or not this involves a global focus.” In the same vein, Welch and Welch (1996) emphasize the “strategic foundations” of the firm (including knowledge, skills and experience, etc.) and, similarly to Crick and Spence (2005), identify planned and unplanned routes to internationalisation. The international entrepreneurship literature also highlights the proactive, innovative and risk-taking attitude of entrepreneurial (small) firms towards foreign market opportunities, providing empirical evidence of their ability to create and implement internationally oriented strategic choices. Although the change in SME internationalisation behaviour has been widely recognized at both the academic and the political level, analysis of the differentiated strategic orientations of SMEs in international markets is missing. Our contribution addresses this issue. The empirical analysis aims at uncovering strategic types in the internationally oriented SME universe and at determining whether these particular strategic postures result in international performance differentials. The paper is structured as follows. Firstly, a literature review of the extant research is provided on key dimensions of the strategy construct, in particular the strategic orientation dimension and its links with competitive and functional strategies. Secondly, the evidence regarding the impact of strategic orientation/strategic types on performance is reviewed. The research methodology is then presented and the main findings are discussed. The paper ends with a discussion of the implications of the study for practitioners and researchers, its limitations and the identification of future research opportunities.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Our study confirms a positive relationship between international strategic types (as expressed by strategic orientations and the related competitive and functional strategic decisions) and international performance. Three out of four strategic types identified in the sample of international SMEs – notably the customer, entrepreneurial, and product-inward, strategy types – pursue more actively international opportunities, expand more rapidly, and exhibit superior international performance when compared to the fourth type represented by those firms lacking any clear strategy. Our findings therefore complement extant research on strategic orientations that has shown positive results regarding the orientation–performance relationship in domestic contexts and/or large firms. It also confirms earlier international entrepreneurship studies that put entrepreneurial/growth orientation at the core of superior performance and accelerated internationalisation patterns that challenged the traditional routes to international expansion (e.g. Oviatt & McDougall, 1994). Further, the results add to the limited empirical evidence regarding strategic orientations and strategic types in international contexts that has shown mixed results. Whereas prior research mainly investigated the impact of one single strategic orientation on internationalisation success, we provide evidence of differentiated strategic types and observe significant linkages between alternative strategic types and international performance. The outcomes of the cluster analyses are relevant for managers and entrepreneurs in that they allow a business to be positioned in one of the four strategic groups and thus to compare the firm's characteristics and performance with the other clusters. In particular, our research might support the development and consolidation over time of strategic decisions which address, on the one hand, the small firm's growth objectives, its competences and resources and, on the other hand, the opportunities in international markets. The outcomes are also relevant for policy-makers because they reveal that small firms are not isomorphic from the viewpoint of strategic orientation and behaviour. Thus, they need to be approached with differentiated policies, according to the potential risks and weaknesses underlying each cluster profile. For example, firms lacking strategic vision and orientation should be primarily addressed with strategic capacity-building mentorship rather than specific export support measures. This research also has limitations, in particular, the dataset is limited to Italian companies, and the analysis may be subject to country-specific biases. The same holds for the sector, with the dataset just consisting of manufacturing firms. The methodology may be criticized on the grounds that it cannot completely differentiate strategic profiles, which overlap in some dimensions. This is also evident in business reality, where our strategic types represent a simplification of the reality itself – a simplification which is helpful for classifying firms and understanding their international behaviour, but which also throws up a number of grey areas among clusters. In addition to this our analysis cannot capture the evolution of firms from one type to another, a process which is likely to occur continuously – at least in the medium-long term – in the life of firms. Future research might try to confirm and fine-tune the strategic types in order to verify if they hold on a wider geographic scale. Also, a longitudinal study of firm strategic clusters might yield interesting insights on long-term internationalisation behaviour and development and related performance consequences.