Innovation and Internationalization of Small and Medium Enterprises
A Crossroads Perspective
Through this collective and multidisciplinary book, we confront the point of view of management scientists, engineers and practitioners, to provide a rich and complementary multifaceted insight into innovation and internationalization in SMEs. We thus highlight key success factors favoring the emergence of new strategies, dynamics and value-creating opportunities.
Table Of Contents
- About the editors
- About the book
- This eBook can be cited
- Table of Contents
- Innovation and internationalization of SMEs: A crossroads perspective Introduction (Manon Enjolras, Mauricio Camargo, and Christophe Schmitt)
- Chapter 1 Analyzing SMEs innovation performance: Exploring the role of Degree of Internationalization (DOI), Entrepreneurial Orientation (EO), and firm size (Pascal Wild and Rico Baldegger)
- Chapter 2 Enhancing innovativeness through internationalization (Jean-Paul David and Jean-Christophe Gessler)
- Chapter 3 Towards a joint approach of supporting innovation and export: Proposal of a decision-making tool (Daniel Galvez, Camila Muñoz, Manon Enjolras, and Mauricio Camargo)
- Chapter 4 A business model taxonomy for international SMEs in traditional manufacturing industries (Germán Benito-Sarriá, José Pla-Barber, and Cristina Villar)
- Chapter 5 Characterizing exporting SMEs in Costa Rica: A current overview (Susan Arce, Margie Faith, and José Martínez)
- Chapter 6 Innovation and export capabilities: Toward a taxonomic approach of companies internal practices (Manon Enjolras, Mauricio Camargo, and Christophe Schmitt)
- Chapter 7 Collaboration between SMEs: A lever to innovate and expand internationally (Jean-Christophe Gessler)
- Chapter 8 Degree of digitalization and entrepreneurial orientation of internationalizing micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises: The mediating roles of self-concept traits (Annaële Hervé, Christophe Schmitt, and Rico Baldegger)
- Conclusion (Manon Enjolras, Mauricio Camargo, and Christophe Schmitt)
- List of contributors
- Series index
Innovation and internationalization of SMEs: A crossroads perspective
Manon Enjolras, Mauricio Camargo, and Christophe Schmitt
Since 2020, with the Covid-19 crisis, the world has suffered a shock with impacts that nobody could predict. Moreover, everyone could agree that climate warming and its effects are not anymore a perspective on the scientific papers. These breaking-point situations have led to significant changes in our lives but also for all instances in our society.
Whatever the future will bring the current context poses a large number of challenges and uncertainties for companies. Indeed, globalization, acceleration of product life-cycle, changes in customer requirements and the technological environment, as well as the successive economic, political, environmental and health crises, have changed the rules of the game in terms of competitiveness and then the strategy. This is true for all companies, and more particularly for small organizations.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) constitute the bigger contributor of employment and added value for the economies worldwide (OECD, 2018). Nonetheless, if one considers the main figures associated with small structures, it appears that they remain under-represented in world trade. Indeed, SMEs perhaps more than others, are forced to face the current upheavals of their ecosystem and anticipate them to secure their activities and guarantee their survival. However, while SMEs have well-known weaknesses, linked in particular to their limited resources, they also have many assets that enable them to constantly renew themselves. Flexibility, responsiveness, and resilience are therefore the watchwords that enable them to create new opportunities to grow, innovate, and position themselves on international markets.←9 | 10→
Nowadays and for several years, the race to technological innovation has reached its limits. Innovation is now associated with major societal issues: sustainable development, digital economy, renewal of housing and urban planning, mobility, product “servitization” ...
Regarding companies’ international activities, instead calls for protectionism and for reducing the international exchanges, some research works underline that a regulated commerce of a “moderated globalization” is still needed to take advantage of the local comparative advantages and competencies. For example, the Covid-19 crisis has greatly increased the internationalization potential of companies. By radically accelerating the digitalization of business development and trade, reducing delivery and supply chains, and promoting more local governance, it is now providing the opportunity for accelerated and reasoned internationalization strategies that are managed in a more agile and sustainable way. Indeed, paradoxically some international exchanges could be beneficial in terms of environmental impacts (Rajan, 2019).
Thus, reshaping innovation and internationalization in the current evolving environment appears as a joint challenge that SMEs must face. International activities represent a way to diversify sales and reduce risk when domestic sales are slowing down. In parallel, innovation helps firms to adapt their products, processes, and organization to embrace these new opportunities. However, these two activities are generally considered independently of each other both in terms of management within companies and in terms of the support offered by external bodies. A joint and cross vision of these activities nevertheless represents an interesting way of managing the complexity of SMEs under these new circumstances and takes all its importance in the changing context in which they evolve.
How does this new context call into question the dynamics, approaches, and strategies for evolving in the international market? What role does innovation play in pursuing these changes? What skills are now required? What new dynamics still need to be created?
To address these issues, a community of researchers and practitioners has been mobilized around the topic of SMEs’ innovation and internationalization capabilities, thanks to the support of the Innov4SME project of the Université de Lorraine (Research program “Lorraine Université d’Excellence” PIA2 ANR-15-IDEX-04-LUE),←10 | 11→
These shared reflections have then given rise to this collective and multidisciplinary book, through which we confront the point of view of management sciences, engineering, and the professional world, to provide a rich and complementary multifaceted insight into innovation and internationalization in SMEs. Based on the experiences of the authors, we thus have had the opportunity to cover different perspectives of the SMEs’ international and innovative capabilities in various countries: Switzerland, France, Spain, Canada, Costa Rica and Chile.
First of all, this book aims to promote the paradigm according to which innovation and internationalization are intimately linked among SMEs, both for their growth perspectives and for their daily operations. Thus, this relationship is explored by the authors in several chapters:
Through Chapter 1, P. Wild and R. Baldegger investigate how international activities impact the innovation capacity of companies. They propose an interesting study on the influence of the Degree of internationalization (DoI), Entrepreneurial Orientation (EO), and Firm Size on the SME innovation performance. Their analysis is based on data from more than 1,500 internationalizing SMEs in Switzerland that were collected over a period of 10 years. Their empirical results demonstrate that SMEs Innovation Performance is significantly influenced by the Degree of Internationalization (DoI).
In the same vein, Chapter 2 is a contribution from the Think Tank “La Fabrique de l’Exportation” co-authored by J.P. David and J.C. Gessler. “La Fabrique de l’Exportation” is the main French think tank dedicated to the internationalization of companies. Its objective is to identify best practices and promote them to French companies and the exporting ecosystem. This chapter aims to explore how and why the international activities of a company induce an increase in its innovativeness. Relying on empirical cases and examples from Canadian firms, the authors illustrate this phenomenon from a practitioners’ point of view and highlight the effects of market and entrepreneurial orientation as drivers of innovative development of companies via their internationalization.
In Chapter 3, D. Galvez, C. Muñoz, M. Enjolras et M. Camargo investigate the relevance of an integrative assessment model of innovation and export capabilities in order to establish common strategies and simultaneous improvement plans. Focusing on the specific context of SMEs, this joint innovation/export model relies on a synergistic vision enabling to address the main issue of small businesses: the lack of ←11 | 12→internal resources. By providing simultaneous improvements plans and joint strategies, the model proposes an optimization of the implemented actions, by minimizing the resources involved and maximizing the potential impacts. The authors also propose an application case within a Chilean wine SME, enabling to test the model in real conditions.
Considering this strong relationship between innovation and international activities, one of the ambitions of this book was also to look at the way in which it was concretely implemented within companies. Several authors have therefore sought to identify the characteristics of innovative and exporting SMEs in order to identify their specificities.
In Chapter 4, G. Benito, J. Pla-Barber and C. Villar, from the University of Valencia contribute to a better understanding of resilient companies through the business model framework. To achieve this objective, they propose a taxonomy of the business model of traditional manufacturing exporting SMEs in Spain, explaining how they have managed to compete, survive and succeed in international markets.
Chapter 5 exposes the case of SMEs’ export performance in Costa Rica. S. Arce, M. Faith and J. Martinez share with us the results of a long-term qualitative and quantitative study over a population of firms regarding factors determining their export. Data obtained from SMEs’ detailed exporting records are used to calculate the Export Performance Index (EPI), enabling the measurement of each company’s export performance. The index considers an SME’s exporting continuity, exporting dynamism, market diversification, and market access conditions.
Chapter 6, authored by M. Enjolras, M. Camargo and C. Schmitt, provides an explorative taxonomy of innovative and exporting companies’ management practices. Considering that the behavior of a company depends both on its own characteristics, but also on the nature of its environment, this study aims to highlight the convergence and divergence of internal practices, exploring a sample of 25 firms and analyzing contextual and structural variables as differentiating factors. Mobilizing data analysis techniques, the authors highlight several companies’ behaviors profiles in terms of innovation and export management, showing specific context- and structure-related orientations.
Finally, with the objective of fostering an efficient support to innovative and international SMEs, this book has attempted to provide some success factors that enable companies to create new dynamics and ←12 | 13→strategies for value creation. Thus, some authors have highlighted key drivers favoring the emergence of new opportunities both in the field of innovation and international development.
- ISBN (PDF)
- ISBN (ePUB)
- ISBN (MOBI)
- ISBN (Softcover)
- Publication date
- 2022 (April)
- Bruxelles, Berlin, Bern, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2022. 218 pp., 18 fig. col., 16 fig. b/w, 26 tables.