کارآفرینی، جهانی شدن و سیاست های عمومی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|11716||2001||17 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of International Management, Volume 7, Issue 3, Autumn 2001, Pages 235–251
This paper examines the impact of governmental policies in influencing the path of internationalization of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It focuses on the role of institutions mandated to assist internationalization, as exemplified by Canada's Export Development Corporation (EDC). We illustrate and examine critically the role that governments typically play in assisting and influencing the international expansion of domestic firms. We argue that the activities of agencies such as EDC — mainly in financing and in insuring against the risks inherent in export activities — may actually be counterproductive to the long-term interests of many SMEs by skewing managers' decisions toward direct exporting, rather than toward indirect exporting by entering the value chain of already-established multinational enterprises (MNEs). A consequence may be to divert the constrained resources of entrepreneurial firms away from their greatest comparative advantage — innovation — toward managing direct entry into international markets in which they are at a comparative disadvantage relative to larger established MNEs. Highly innovative SMEs might be better off by leaving the internationalization of their innovations to MNEs and sharing some of the international direct exporting profits with them instead. The implications are relevant for governmental policies toward internationalizing SMEs not just in Canada but in open, market-oriented economies everywhere.
This paper is about the importance of small entrepreneurial firms in the global economy and about whether current government policies towards assisting exports by small firms are appropriate.1 Much confusion exists about the proper definition of entrepreneurship. Some observers use the term to refer to all small businesses; others, to all new business. In practice, however, many well-established businesses engage in highly successful entrepreneurship. The term, then, refers not to an enterprise's size or age but to a certain kind of activity. At the heart of that activity is innovation: what Peter Drucker defines as “the effort to create purposeful, focused change in an enterprise's economic or social potential.” In this paper, we are interested in the subset of small firms that innovate and are, therefore, entrepreneurial. On the threshold of the 21st century, in a single global economy, knowledge about events and opportunities in other countries has never before been as deep or immediately available. This knowledge has favored a rapid and dynamic growth in international trade and international financial flows. Consequently, nations are becoming increasingly dependent on each other's rational behavior. As economies become more interconnected with global trade and investment patterns, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are becoming increasingly important pillars of the economies of the major trading partners. Smaller firms in the 1990s increased their share in exports and in-and-outward foreign direct investment in the OECD countries and in many Asian countries (OECD, 1996). This is not by chance. SMEs are likely to become more important as economies become more globally integrated because globalization is itself a process of entrepreneurial discovery. Firms that succeed in the global market must be innovative and able to hold on to the profit opportunities their innovations present. These are the same attributes a successful SME needs anywhere. Large established multinational firms are often poor places in which to launch radical innovations. Most large multinational firms are bureaucratic and hierarchical. They have grown large and successful using the techniques and routines they developed over decades and they are often profoundly conservative. Employees or managers with ideas about radical innovations are unlikely to gain much support within such a firm. Consequently, people with radical innovations typically establish their own companies, allowing them to control the innovation as it develops, and giving the innovators clear property rights over the innovations they create. However, this brings another set of problems. Small firms often have difficulty accessing resources needed to grow rapidly and reach world markets. The latter point is especially important, for quick access to large markets is often critical to the financial viability of a radically new product or process. If a small firm owns an innovation and is having difficulty taking it to foreign markets, government assistance is often available. For example, firms in the United States can obtain various types of financial assistance from the US Small Business Administration, the US Export–Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and the US Trade & Development Agency (TDA). These institutions offer a wide spectrum of support, ranging across long-term general loans, shorter-term trade credit financing, default insurance, advocacy, and information. Other governments have analogous programs though the precise type of assistance and the organizational structure of the agencies that provide it vary. In this study, we examine a typical institution of this kind, the Export Development Corporation (EDC), a Canadian state-owned enterprise that provides Canadian exporters with financial assistance such as trade credit arrangements and default insurance. We argue that this sort of support may not be the best approach. Large established multinational firms, regardless of what industry they are in, are present in many major markets, and they are experienced in applying or transferring ideas born in one country to operations or markets in another. Thus, small firms with innovations and large multinational firms might efficiently combine forces using the multinationals' foreign presence and experience at transferring technology and other ideas to foreign markets to bring the SME's innovation onto the world stage, especially when the innovation is radical and its life cycle short.2 Section 2 of this paper discusses the emergence of globalization. Section 3 examines the internationalization of innovation. Section 4 discusses direct versus indirect access to foreign markets by entrepreneurs. Section 5 discusses public policy as a response to market failure, and conclusions are presented in Section 6.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
We have argued that small firms are important parts of the global economy even if they do not export directly and have no foreign subsidiaries. We see globalization as a process of entrepreneurial discovery. The process involves creating innovations, discovering profitable applications of the innovations across borders, and capturing the profits that follow. The process is invigorated by technological progress in communications, by general economic liberalization, and by the liberalization of international trade and investment flows. Because of better property rights protection, innovators often prefer to start their own firms. Thus, radical innovations often show up in SMEs. Due to their more limited resources, smaller firms also tend to search for innovations in less crowded areas of research. This also leads SMEs to find disproportionately radical innovations. In contrast, large multinational firms may be poor at creating radical innovations, but often possess well-developed global channels for moving products from one country to another. These differences mean that SMEs and large multinationals can have a synergistic relationship in globalization. Smaller firms' profits from their innovations can sometimes be higher if they use established multinationals as conduits to foreign markets, and so avoid the cost of “going global” alone. In turn, intermediating small firms' worthy innovations increase established multinationals' competitiveness and profits. Small and large firms can play complementary roles in the process of entrepreneurial discovery in the global economy. As an example of governmental support institutions, Canada's EDC was formed to subsidize firms exporting directly into foreign markets. If many of these firms could have reached world markets using a multinational as an intermediary, EDC's efforts in this area may be redundant. EDC also provides insurance and financial backing to Canadian exporters. However, these services are available in various forms from the private sector, where successful firms in these lines of business are distinguished by their superior abilities to screen out adverse selection and moral hazard problems. It is implausible that EDC can screen its customers better than private firms can. If EDC is backing firms that could not be backed profitably by the private sector, it must, therefore, be bearing a more adverse selection and moral hazard cost than do private sector firms. If so, EDC cannot be expected to make money, or even to operate on a break-even basis in the long run. If EDCs were to continue operating on a break-even or better bottom line in perpetuity, it could not back deals a private sector firm would reject. The overarching concern here is that any government initiative, no matter how successful and noble at inception, must be subject to periodic scrutiny because government failure is a persuasive phenomenon (Krueger, 1990). Government organs should not be granted eternal life, and when the circumstances that justified their creation change, they should often be dismantled. EDC may well have addressed genuine market failures at its inception. It is unclear that it does so anymore, for its current operations are essentially no different from those of private sector firms. What does this portend for EDC's future? One alternative is for EDC to remain in the public sector and continue in its current activities. This alternative seems inadvisable. Even if current EDC management can resist government failure, their successors may not. As long as EDC remains an arm of the government, it runs the risk of succumbing to government failure of one sort or another. The risk of government failure is sometimes acceptable if the alternative is a severe market failure. When no private sector market failure is being remedied, as would seem to be the case here, the economy entertains government failure problems for no good reason by sustaining EDC as a state-owned enterprise. A second alternative is for EDC to remain in the public sector, but to find a new mission to correct a different set of market failures. The civil servants working in a bureaucracy often favor this option whose original purpose is no longer valid. It allows them to continue without disruptions in their careers. Unfortunately, aimless bureaucracies searching for meaningful purpose can become real economic hazards. They are especially prone to capture by powerful interests that can provide budgetary stability and political support. They are also vulnerable to rent-seeking pressure as their new roles often suffer from a lack of political and economic legitimacy. Finally, there is no guarantee that an organization proficient at one task and designed for one purpose will do well at another. Modified missions for EDC, such as participating in regional development programs or industrial policies, would only be ways of casting the seeds of future trouble. A third alternative is to privatize EDC and allow it to find its own way forward as a private sector financial firm. EDC could continue its current activities as long as they remain profitable, as they now are. Its future diversification into other lines of business would have to pass the test of survival in competitive markets. Allowing EDC to operate as an independent, private sector financial institution would also provide renewed competition for Canada's banks as they expand into all aspects of finance. Finally, a stock offering would provide a one-time cash infusion for the federal government, which could then reduce the huge accumulated debt it continues to carry from past deficit spending. We strongly endorse the view that it is time to privatize EDC. Canada's experience with EDC provides lessons for other countries, especially the emerging market economies of ASEAN in Asia and Mercosur in Latin America. First, intermediated exporting may well be efficient for many companies and industries there. If so, countries in these regions can best help their growing firms access world markets by opening their doors widely to multinational firms. Second, the fact that Canada and other high-income countries used organs such as EDC in the past does not mean that such market failures still exist. Finally, the recent economic crises in both Asia and Latin America were certainly caused, in part at least, by rapidly growing concerns among investors about “corruption” — i.e., government failure. Thus, schemes to subsidize direct exports may cause economic distortions, address market failure problems that no longer exist, and create vulnerability to gratuitous government failures.