nep-sbm New Economics Papers
on Small Business Management
Issue of 2010‒11‒20
eight papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Network dynamics in regional clusters: The perspective of an emerging economy By Elisa Giuliani
  2. ICT and Innovation Activities: Evidence for UK SMEs By Dolores Añon Higón
  3. The role of technological gatekeepers in the growth of industrial clusters: Evidence from Chile By Elisa Giuliani
  4. Structural properties of cooperation networks in Germany: From basic to applied research By Tom Broekel; Holger Graf
  5. The internationalization of firms in the service industries: channels, determinants and sectoral patterns By Castellacci, Fulvio
  6. Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Financial Market Cycles By Josh Lerner
  7. Strategic activities in support of young French SMEs By B. Branchet; B. Augier; J.P. Boissin; B. Quere
  8. Gazelle companies: growth drivers and an evolution analysis By Oriol Amat; Jordi Perramon

  1. By: Elisa Giuliani
    Abstract: Regional clusters are spatial agglomerations of firms operating in the same or connected industries, which enable innovation and economic performance for firms. A wealth of empirical literature shows that one of key elements of the success of regional clusters is that they facilitate the formation of local inter-organizational networks, which act as conduits of knowledge and innovation. While most studies analyze the benefits and characteristics of regional cluster networks and focus on advanced economies and high tech Ôhot spotsÕ, this paper advances with the existing literature by analyzing network dynamics and taking an emerging economyÕs perspective. Using longitudinal data of a wine cluster in Chile and stochastic actor-oriented models for network dynamics, this paper examines what micro-level effects influence the formation of new knowledge ties among wineries. It finds that the coexistence of cohesion effects (reciprocity and transitivity) and the presence of inter-firm knowledge base heterogeneity contribute to the stability of an informal hierarchical network structure over time. Empirical results have interesting implications for cluster competitiveness and network studies, and for the burgeoning literature on corporate behavior in emerging economies.
    Keywords: Regional clusters, knowledge networks, network dynamics, wine industry, Chile
    Date: 2010–10
  2. By: Dolores Añon Higón (Departamento de Economía Aplicada II, Universidad de Valencia)
    Abstract: There is a continuous commitment of policy makers in the UK to supporting innovation in small and medium firms. For these policy initiatives to be successful, an understanding of the factors driving innovation activities is required. In this study, we focus on the role that Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) play in the innovation performance of UK small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Using data drawn from the 2004 Annual Small Business Survey (ASBS) database, we show that ICT operate primarily as efficiency-enhancing technologies, although specific market oriented applications (i.e. website development) exhibit a potential to create competitive advantage through product innovation.
    Keywords: ICT, Product Innovation, Process Innovation, SME, Bivariate Probit
    JEL: D24 O30
    Date: 2010–11
  3. By: Elisa Giuliani
    Abstract: Industrial clusters are often associated with innovative success. However, there is very little research on what types of organizational models apply to clusters as they grow, to facilitate upgrading and innovation Ð and especially in emerging/developing countries. This paper uses longitudinal micro-level data for a wine cluster in Chile. They show that the most advanced firms in the cluster behave as Technological Gatekeepers Ð i.e. they acquire knowledge outside cluster boundaries and contribute to diffusing knowledge to other, potentially rival, local firms Ð and do so persistently over time. The results are explained by combining three theoretical perspectives: evolutionary economics theory; business studies on communities of practice and knowledge workersÕ know-how trade; and embeddedness theory.
    Keywords: Industrial clusters, technological gatekeepers, knowledge networks, wine industry, Chile
    Date: 2010–10
  4. By: Tom Broekel (Department of Economic Geography, Urban & Regional Research Centre Utrecht (URU), Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University); Holger Graf (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena)
    Abstract: Economists pay more and more attention to knowledge networks and drivers of their development. Consequently, a rich literature emerged analyzing factors explaining the emergence of intra-organizational links. Despite substantial work focusing on the dyad level, only little is known about how and why (global) network structures differ between technologies or industries. The study is based on a new data source on subsidized R&D cooperation in Germany, which is presented in detail and discussed with respect to other types of relational data. A comparison of networks within ten technologies allows us to identify systematic differences between basic and applied research networks.
    Keywords: R&D subsidies, network, cooperation, Foerderkatalog, Germany
    JEL: L14 I28 O38
    Date: 2010–11–12
  5. By: Castellacci, Fulvio
    Abstract: The paper presents the results of a new survey on the international activities of Norwegian enterprises in the service industries. The survey focuses on three main internationalization channels: international sales, international cooperation and R&D outsourcing. The empirical analysis studies the relevance of these channels, and investigates the related strategies, objectives and determinants. International sales and collaborations emerge as the two most relevant channels, whereas the scope for R&D outsourcing seems to be far more limited. The analysis of the determinants of international activities leads to three main results: (1) the innovative capability of firms matters for their international performance; (2) the various internationalization channels seem to be complement, rather than substitute, strategies to compete in foreign markets; (3) sectoral specificities greatly affect firms’ internationalization strategies and performance.
    Keywords: internationalization; international cooperations; R&D outsourcing; innovation; service industries; survey data
    JEL: F0 O3 L1
    Date: 2010
  6. By: Josh Lerner
    Abstract: While hard data is difficult to find, the financial crisis appears to have had a substantial negative effect on investors’ willingness to finance innovative entrepreneurship. This dearth of capital is particularly worrisome in light of the widely recognised need for innovative ventures—the so-called “green shoots”— to reignite economic growth after the world-wide recession. A growing body of evidence suggests a strong relationship between entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic growth. This document first reviews the evidence concerning the relationship between innovation and entrepreneurship. It then turns to understanding the consequences of market cycles for these activities. We look at the way that financial considerations impact the innovation investment decision, and innovation in entrepreneurial ventures specifically.<BR>Il est difficile de trouver des données objectives sur la question, mais la crise financière semble avoir eu un effet négatif sensible sur la disposition des investisseurs à financer les entreprises innovantes. Cette pénurie de capital est particulièrement inquiétante à la lumière du besoin largement admis d'entreprises innovantes – les fameuses « jeunes pousses » – pour relancer la croissance économique après la récession mondiale. De plus en plus d’éléments laissent à penser qu'il existe un lien fort entre entrepreneuriat, innovation et croissance économique. Ce document s’ouvre sur un examen des informations disponibles concernant la relation entre innovation et entrepreneuriat. Je m’efforce ensuite de cerner les conséquences des cycles des marchés sur ces activités. J’examine la façon dont les considérations financières se répercutent sur les décisions d’investissement en matière d'innovation, et plus précisément s’agissant de l’innovation réalisée dans les jeunes entreprises.
    Date: 2010–03–18
  7. By: B. Branchet (CERAG - Centre d'études et de recherches appliquées à la gestion - CNRS : UMR5820 - Université Pierre Mendès-France - Grenoble II); B. Augier (CERAG - Centre d'études et de recherches appliquées à la gestion - CNRS : UMR5820 - Université Pierre Mendès-France - Grenoble II); J.P. Boissin (CERAG - Centre d'études et de recherches appliquées à la gestion - CNRS : UMR5820 - Université Pierre Mendès-France - Grenoble II); B. Quere (CERAG - Centre d'études et de recherches appliquées à la gestion - CNRS : UMR5820 - Université Pierre Mendès-France - Grenoble II)
    Abstract: In this paper we closely study young French Small and Medium Enteprises (SMEs). We highlight the structure of this target firms and we build a typology of corresponding business models. The business models stemming from this typology are typical (to the greatest extent possible) and actionable. We are particularly intersted in indentifying groups of SMEs where gouvernement assistance would be particularly effective and strategically valuable for the national economy. One of our conclusins is that the typology is not based on a classical growth model that reflects progressive phases of developement in the life of a young firm. Furthermore, it is ineffective and wasteful to focus governement assistance efforts on firms based on their age. We identify groups of business models where assistance would be more effecient and strategically more effective.
    Keywords: SME ; growth ; growth model ; typology
    Date: 2010
  8. By: Oriol Amat; Jordi Perramon
    Abstract: Gazelle companies are relevant because they generate much more employment than other companies and deliver high returns to their shareholders. This paper analyzes their behavior in the years of high growth and their evolution in the following years. The main factors that explain their success are competitive advantages based on human resources, innovation, internationalization, the excellence in processes and a conservative financial policy. Nevertheless, as time goes by they can be divided in two groups: a group which continues having growth, but most of them with lower growth rates; and the rest which face great problems or even disappear. The present study identifies several key factors that explain this different evolution.
    Keywords: Gazelle companies, high-growth companies, financial information, business evolution, financial statements.
    JEL: L1 M41 M13
    Date: 2010–11

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