nep-sbm New Economics Papers
on Small Business Management
Issue of 2011‒08‒02
seven papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Networking as a Route for Corporate Foresight in SMEs By Agné Paliokaité
  2. How Can Micro and Small Enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa Become More Productive? The Impacts of Experimental Basic Managerial Training By Yukichi Mano; Alhassan Iddrisu; Yutaka Yoshino; Tetsushi Sonobe
  3. Smart specialisation, regional growth and applications to EU cohesion policy By Philip McCann; Raquel Ortega-Argilés
  4. Computational Results on Membership in R&D Cooperation Networks: To Be or Not To Be in a Research Joint Venture By Duarte Leite; Pedro Campos; Isabel Mota
  5. Regional wage differences in the Netherlands: Micro-evidence on agglomeration externalities By Stefan Groot; Henri de Groot
  6. Enterprise creation & anti-commons in developing economies: evidence from World Bank doing business data By Driouchi, Ahmed; Malki, Karim
  7. The outcome of coaching and training for self-employment : A statistical evaluation of non-financial support schemes for unemployed business founders in Germany By Oberschachtsiek, Dirk; Scioch, Patrycja

  1. By: Agné Paliokaité (ISM, University of Management and Economics, Vilnius, Lithuania)
    Abstract: Purpose. In this paper, I argue that corporate foresight can play the important role not only for large multinational companies, but also for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Rohrbeck et al (2010) proposed that effective corporate foresight can be organized without a process model but with certain capabilities and activities. In this paper it is hypothesized that the latter approach could be suitable for SMEs. Furthermore, it is hypothesized that organizational future orientation of an SME can be also enhanced by engaging in networks with other stakeholders. Therefore, the paper aims to explore the different routes to enhance corporate foresight capabilities in SMEs. The fundamental research question addressed in this paper is: what are the key corporate foresight capabilities and how can these capabilities be built in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to enhance strategic thinking and future orientation in these companies? More specific objectives are: (1) To establish what the key capabilities within the corporate foresight practices are; (2) To establish what kind of value contributions can be expected from corporate foresight; (3) Based on research results, to propose a benchmarking framework of CF capabilities with a distinction between different routes SMEs can take for achieving higher value associated with CF. (4)To propose how the variables in the networking route could be measured. The analysis in this paper is comprised of three main parts. The first part is to formally establish the need for corporate foresight capabilities in the Lithuanian high technology SMEs. The second part, which is the crux of this paper, is to propose the benchmarking framework for corporate foresight in SMEs, following three different routes: structural approach, cultural approach, networking approach. The third part provides conclusions and discussion.
    Keywords: Corporate foresight, networking, SMEs, weak signals, weak tie networks, strong tie networks, Lithuania
    JEL: D81 D85 L14 M10 O52
    Date: 2010–10
  2. By: Yukichi Mano (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies); Alhassan Iddrisu (The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Ghana); Yutaka Yoshino (The World Bank); Tetsushi Sonobe (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies)
    Abstract: The vast majority of micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in developing countries are located in industrial clusters, and the majority of such clusters have yet to see their growth take off. The performance of MSE clusters is especially low in Sub-Saharan Africa. While existing studies often attribute the poor performance to factors outside firms, problems within firms are seldom scrutinized. In fact, entrepreneurs in these clusters are unfamiliar with standard business practices. Based on a randomized experiment in Ghana, this study demonstrates that basic-level management training improves business practices and performance.
    Keywords: Africa, Ghana, industrial development, survival clusters, management training, randomized experiment
    Date: 2011–07
  3. By: Philip McCann (University of Groningen); Raquel Ortega-Argilés (Instituto Superior Técnico)
    Abstract: This paper examines the arguments underpinning the smart specialisation concept, an idea which originally emerged from the sectoral growth literature, and one which has recently been applied with to the regional policy context. The shift from a sectoral to a regional context appears prima facie to be quite straightforward but this paper explains that translating the idea to a regional policy context is rather more complex that it at first appears and implies some changes in both interpretation and implications. The outcomes of this are that in a regional policy setting the smart specialisation logic is seen to be broadly consistent with the overall reforms of EU Cohesion Policy. However, in a regional policy setting there is no reason why ICTs should be prioritised over many forms of intangible capital, and the promotion of technological diversification via entrepreneurship may need to be related to specific sectors or activities.
    Keywords: Smart, specialisation, EU, cohesion policy, innovation, sector, place-based
    JEL: O31 O33 R11 R58
    Date: 2011
  4. By: Duarte Leite (LIAAD – INESC, LA, Faculdade de Economia do Porto, Universidade do Porto); Pedro Campos (LIAAD – INESC, LA, Faculdade de Economia do Porto, Universidade do Porto); Isabel Mota (CEF.UP, Faculdade de Economia do Porto, Universidade do Porto)
    Abstract: In this study, we analyze firms’ membership in R&D (Research and Development) cooperation networks. Our main research hypothesis is that the membership in cooperation networks is related to the degree of the knowledge spillover. The approach focus on both cost symmetry and cost asymmetry. For that purpose, our work is developed in two tasks: we first develop an analytical model with three stages: in the first, firms decide whether to participate in a cooperative research network; in the second they simultaneously choose the level of R&D output, and finally firms choose the level of output through Cournot competition under both cost symmetry and cost asymmetry. Then we proceed with computational simulations in order to verify our hypothesis. From our results, we were able to conclude that cooperation leads to an improvement on RJV firms’ position in the market as it allows them to produce more than others with the same production conditions. Additionally, cooperating firms have to spend fewer resources on research, which turns the network a tremendous success on the productive efficiency level.
    Keywords: R&D, networks, spillover, simulation, RJV
    JEL: D85 L24 C63
    Date: 2011–07
  5. By: Stefan Groot; Henri de Groot
    Abstract: <p>Based on micro-data on individual workers for the period 2000–2005, we show that regional wage differentials in the Netherlands are small but present. </p><p>A large part of these differentials can be attributed to individual characteristics of workers. Remaining effects are partially explained by variations in employment density, with an elasticity of about 3.8 percent and by Marshall-Arrow-Romer externalities, where doubling the share of a (2-digit NACE) industry results in a 2.4 percent higher productivity.</p><p>We find evidence for a negative effect of competition (associated with Porter externalities) and diversity (associated with Jacobs externalities).</p>
    JEL: J24 O12 R11 R23
    Date: 2011–07
  6. By: Driouchi, Ahmed; Malki, Karim
    Abstract: Abstract: This paper looks at the tragedy of anti-commons and its implications on enterprise creation in developing economies. The most important features of the anti-commons are captured under a simplified theoretical economic model. The empirical part uses the data from “Doing Business” of the World Bank, to test for the high costs implied by scattered and fragmented decisions related to enterprise creation in developing economies. The attained results show the prevalence of anti-commons in relation to the development of new enterprises in developing economies relative to more developed countries. This points out how anti-commons can limit development and market economies through reducing business and enterprise creation and expansion. Awareness and development of appropriate remedies to anti-commons are among the means to ensure higher economic and social achievements.
    Keywords: Anti-commons; Enterprise Creation; Licensing and Costs
    JEL: D21 D73 D43
    Date: 2011–04–16
  7. By: Oberschachtsiek, Dirk; Scioch, Patrycja (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "This paper focuses on the question of whether improving the competence of new business founders by means of coaching and training programs enhances the dura-tion of self-employment. In our analysis we focus on support activities that are pro-vided in addition to a financial subsidy and which mainly focus on providing external expertise for founders who started a business from a position of unemployment. We find that the inflow into the related schemes is strongly determined by regional pat-terns and time while individual characteristics are less important. This reflects a par-ticular regional specialization in the set-up of the promotion of self-employment. A statistical matching approach is used to control for selectivity and is performed in a way that explicitly takes into account differences across regions and over time. The results show that treatment effects tend to be insignificant in statistical and economic terms. We also find evidence that external expertise reduces the duration of self-employment." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    JEL: J68 J23
    Date: 2011–07–26

This nep-sbm issue is ©2011 by Joao Carlos Correia Leitao. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.