International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business (13 papers in press)
International decision processes within SMEs: the influence of biological sex and stereotypical gender roles
by Barbara Francioni, Fabio Musso, Marco Cioppi
Abstract: This study examines the influence of decision-makers characteristics, such as biological sex and stereotypical gender roles, on the international decision process within a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME), with particular attention to the strategic decision-making process (SDMP). We tested our hypotheses on a sample of 188 Italian SMEs using hierarchical multiple regression. The results reveal that women have a greater ability than men to involve the organization members in making decisions, regardless of the degree of formalization of the process and the level of decentralization of the responsibilities within the company. Moreover, regarding stereotypical gender roles, only masculinity showed a relationship with the SDMP dimensions, especially with the levels of formalization and hierarchical decentralization of the decisions. This paper provides a combination of analyses of biological sex, stereotypical gender roles and SDMP dimensions. It is also one of the few studies of this kind in the field of international strategy.
Keywords: International decision; Small and medium-sized enterprises; SME; Strategic decision-making process; Internationalization; Biological sex; Stereotypical gender roles; Femininity; Masculinity; Androgyny.
EXPLORING SOCIAL CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT IN AUSTRALIAN SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES
by Kritcha Yawised, Nuttaneeya (Ann) Torugsa, Wayne O'Donohue
Abstract: Social Customer Relationship Management (SCRM) is a new business concept and strategy that utilises and integrates social networking with traditional CRM processes and strategies in order to bring about superior engagement with customers. There is a paucity of scholarly empirical research into SCRM in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). This paper describes the first large-scale survey-based study in Australia that explores the role and nature of SCRM in SMEs. Using a sample of 967 Australian SMEs (comprising 540 SCRM adopters and 427 SCRM non-adopters) and employing both descriptive and simple inferential statistics, we investigate the current level of SCRM adoption, types of social networking sites used with SCRM, business objectives for SCRM engagement, methods of sourcing or implementing a SCRM system, SCRM implementation-related activities, as well as the benefits and barriers related to SCRM implementation. The study results reveal that SCRM adoption by Australian SMEs has been relatively ad hoc, superficial (even primitive), and usually not supported by a formal integrated strategy and policy framework. Whilst SMEs that have adopted SCRM did so with the expectation of benefits, particularly in terms of building brand and establishing customer loyalty/intention, the study shows that SCRM benefits are often not immediately apparent in the short term; the results also indicate that lack of time and knowledge of how to implement SCRM effectively are critical barriers to successful SCRM adoption by SMEs. Our findings suggest further research is needed in this area.
Keywords: Social customer relationship management (SCRM); social networking; small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Financial structure effects on export intensity and diversification: the
case of Portuguese industrial firms
by Luis Pacheco
Abstract: The objective of this paper is to empirically examine the relationship between a set of financial variables and export performance. Though many empirical papers studied the impact of financial structure on firms performance its effect on firms export performance has been less studied. The primary objective of our paper is to fill that gap, particularly for the case of Portugal, focusing on SMEs, where agency problems and lack of resources could impact more on export performance. Using a panel data methodology and considering a sample of 3.164 Portuguese manufacturing SMEs for the period 2011-2014 our results indicate that SMEs with less debt, higher profitability and of greater size tend to present higher export intensity and diversification. This exploratory paper gives a contribution to clarify which are the main financial determinants of an export-oriented firm, which is an important issue not only for managers but for all the stakeholders, particularly policy makers aiming to promote outward orientation of domestic firms.
Keywords: Financial structure: SMEs; Internationalization; Export intensity; Export diversity; Capital structure.
Changes in the international wine market competitiveness
by Antonino Galati, Salvatore Tinervia, Maria Crescimanno, Francesco Spezia
Abstract: The aim of this study is to analyse the specialization patterns of the main wine world actors, so as to verify whether or not the patterns of comparative advantages for the trade of this countries have experienced significant changes over the last decade. Using the Lafay index, as a comparative advantage measure, our results reveals deep changes in the global wine market. In particular Italy, France, and Spain, though keeping an unquestioned importance in the international scenario, are experiencing a progressive loss of competitiveness. Differently, new countries have reinforced their presence in the international market, and among them Chile for the bottled wines, and South Africa, for bulk wines, pointing out the success of policy measures implemented in these new producing countries. In this scenario, the maintenance of the competitive position is closely linked to the needs to know the specificities, the differences, the sizes and the economic opportunities for each of the countries target, in order to undertake targeted actions and effective strategies.
Keywords: Lafay Index; international specialization; comparative advantage; wine trade.
Cross Cultural Communication between Developed and Emerging Markets: A Qualitative Study on Small and Medium Sized Enterprise Communication Technology Selection and Utilization
by Wendy Farrell, Thitival Hutasingh
Abstract: Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) have been shown to be an integral part of economic development and job creation. Seeking growth opportunities, many SMEs are looking abroad; using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to gain entry to previously inaccessible global markets and production. One issue that arises is that communication preferences and the respective ICT tools used to engage in communication differs across high and low-context cultures. This interview-based empirical research looks to identify communication technology needs and preferences experienced by SMEs when attempting to use technology to establish and maintain working relationships across cultures.
Keywords: small business; cross cultural communication; information and communication technology; media richness theory.
The Rise of Small Globals: An Empirical Macro Analysis
by Manuel Jose I.I.I. Oyson
Abstract: Even decades ago questions were raised about the traditional internationalisation process models for their failure to explain born globals and firms that internationalised rapidly and skipped stages. The rise in the new millenium of small globals or small firms that internationalised across multiple, often distant, international markets further demonstrates the explanatory limits of internationalisation process models. Notably these models emerged in the 1970s and 1980s. The international environment, however, has undergone dramatic changes since the 1990s with the development of the Internet, advanced technologies, globalisation, and free trade. Whilst the enabling effects of these changes on firm internationalisation are acknowledged, they have largely not been explained nor empirically developed. This paper, based on an empirical study of twelve New Zealand small internationalising firms, addresses this research gap by providing a macro analysis of how key changes in the international environment have enabled the rise of born globals and small globals.
Keywords: Internationalisation; International Business; International Environment; Globalisation; Economic Liberalisation; Internet; Foreign Market Entry; SMEs; Small Globals; Born Globals; Internationalisation Strategy.
Exploring the antecedents of export motivation: The case of the Greek yogurt firms.
by Zacharias Papanikolaou, Christos Karelakis, Konstadinos Mattas
Abstract: Within a context of continuous economic recession, the exports of dairy products and especially of Greek yogurt comprise a key motivating factor for the economic growth and strengthening of Greek firms. The present research endeavors to investigate the antecedents of export motivation of Greek yogurt firms. Primary data were collected through a quantitative survey (structured questionnaire) to 137 yogurt producing firms that also display export activities. Data were analyzed via a series of multivariate methods, namely factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis and path analysis. The results indicate that the most important determinants of export motivation for yogurt firms involve the customers preferences, the exports competitive advantage, the firms resources, the domestic legislation and the firm experience.
Keywords: motives; internationalization; Greek yogurt; capabilities; Path Analysis.
Special Issue on: Recent Dynamics and Systems in the Agri-Food Sector
New development opportunities for the craft brewing segment: the case study of a micro malthouse
by Vincenzo Alfeo, Aldo Todaro, Antonio Asciuto, Valeria Borsellino, Emanuele Schimmenti
Abstract: In Italy in the past few years, the number of small breweries penetrating the craft beer sector has grown exponentially. Craft producers intend to give a strong added value and a local character to their production in different ways. One of these is the use of malt derived from small batches of local cereals and pseudo cereals. The aim of this study is the assessment of investment profitability, through a Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA), for a compact and a modular micro malting plant in Sicily (southern Italy). The CBA for a micro malthouse was carried out considering both installation and operating costs. Net Present Value (NPV), Discounted Benefit Cost Ratio (DBCR) and Internal Rate of Return (IRR) highlight the feasibility of an investment in a compact 2-tons micro malthouse. Sensitivity analysis shows positive results of the above financial indices up to a 15% increase in the raw material costs, while with a 10% reduction of malt selling price, the same indices start being negative.
Keywords: Malting; Malting plant;Cereal processing; Cost benefit analysis; Sicily; Internal areas.
Quality differentiation in the Italian wine industry: terroir-based vs brand-based strategies
by Luca Camanzi, Cristina Grazia, Eric Giraud-Héraud, Giulio Malorgio
Abstract: This study assesses the reasons that induce wine firms to choose their differentiation strategy, namely a terroir-based or a brand-based approach, considering both endogenous factors (e.g. firm size, nature of upstream-downstream relations) and exogenous conditions (market size/opportunities, collective brand reputation).rnFirst, we provide an empirical characterisation of the Italian denomination of origin wine processing and bottling industry as well as of firms quality differentiation strategies, by means of a Cluster Analysis. Based on these results, we developed an industrial organization model explaining the incentives for firms to adopt each strategy in a competitive context, focusing on the trade-off between terroir-based strategies and brand-based strategies.rnWe conclude that brand-based strategies are motivated mostly by scale economies, short-run market opportunities and synergies between brand and designations of origin, while the main reasons prompting firms to choose terroir-based strategies relate to supply-chain control, low demand uncertainty and competition intensity.
Keywords: Quality; differentiation; Italian wine industry; terroir; industrial brand; strategies; consumer; Designation of Origin; IGT; DOC; DOCG; cluster analysis; vertical integration; cooperatives; industrial organisation model.
Attitude toward food waste reduction: the case of Italian consumers
by Mariantonietta Fiore, Giustina Pellegrini, Piermichele La Sala, Alessandra Conte, Bin Liu
Abstract: This study aimed to investigate the dynamics of household food waste by analysing Italian consumer behaviour. Specifically, the study tried to find the determining factors of household food waste and the main consumer motivations that may lead to reduction of food waste. In order to reach this goal, an on-line survey was carried out through a web-based questionnaire. Data analysis was conducted in the following steps: 1) a descriptive statistical analysis for illustrating the sample; 2) a correlation analysis followed by PCA. Results show that consumers are aware of the environmental and economic impacts of food waste, although waste continues to occur at household level. The authors suggest that interventions should be taken to influence consumers choices related to purchasing and consuming food, such as changing their planning and shopping routines. For policy makers and social marketers, the results implicate the crucial importance of avoiding food-related habits in consumers lives.
Keywords: Food waste reduction; sustainable food system; consumer behaviour; household waste Food Waste; Shopping routines; Consumer behaviour.
Social responsibility in the food sector: consumer approach
by Ligita Simanskiene, Erika Zuperkiene, Aurimas Zuperka
Abstract: Evidently, in view of high competition in the todays world, each organization strives both to increase its sales and to listen to consumers needs. However, this task is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve; therefore, the striving to become a socially responsible organization can be seen as one of the measures towards this goal. A number of research has proved that such organizations become attractive not only for their employees, but also to consumers who buy certain services or goods. Food industry does not make an exception. Its extremely important in the food industry what product will be sold to consumers, as it also can involve the public health issue. Referring to a conducted consumer survey, consumers expectations are identified, i.e. what they expect from socially responsible food industry companies and to what extent they are willing to support performance of the companies that meet their expectations. The findings of this research suggest that socially responsible behaviour of food companies has become an element of quality expected by customers, but they not necessarily are willing to pay more for that.
Keywords: corporate social responsibility; food sector; consumer; Lithuania.
How the social responsibility creates value: models of innovation in Italian pasta industry
by Giusi Marotta, Concetta Nazzaro, Marcello Stanco
Abstract: The socio-economic changes of the last decades, in a context of markets globalization and renewed environmental and food safety problems, have produced new sensitivities of the aware and responsible citizen-consumers.
In this constantly evolving scenario, agribusiness enterprises, in order to maintain competitiveness in the world market, have fielded efforts to introduce new strategies and paradigms into their corporate approaches. They were inspired more and more to the sustainability and to the social responsibility for pursuing the value creation and for meeting the citizens-consumers needs.
The aim of the paper is to contribute to the theoretical debate on corporate social responsibility in agri-food and through the analysis of a case study in italian pasta industry to evaluate the performance of social responsibility in order to value creation.
The results are very interesting and confirm the positive relationship, repeatedly stressed in the literature, between orientation to social responsibility and the firms economic and financial performances.
Keywords: sustainable innovations; corporate social responsibility; value creation; Italian pasta industry.
TRANSFORMATION OF COLOMBIAN SMALL COFFEE GROWERS AND NEW SCENARIOS FOR THEIR COMPETITIVENESS
by Mabel Manrique Ramos, Flor Medina Chamorro, Karen A. Acevedo Calderón, Laura Rodríguez Bejarano, Laura García Gómez
Abstract: Coffee has historically contributed to the economic and social development of Colombia; However, in the last decades, this agricultural subsector has faced several challenges, both from the international market, which includes the decline in price levels due to the expansion of supply and internal factors, as the revaluation of the peso, phytosanitary risks, and the reduction of available labor, among others. In this sense, this article aims to identify the transformations of small Colombian coffee growers and some of the new strategies that can generate greater competitiveness. An inquiry is made about the changes that have occurred in the coffee industry in the last two decades, addressing factors such as technology, government policies, production and digital marketing strategies, to identify the key points in which to work to advance towards their development and well-being. In this regard, it is proposed how fair trade favors the commercial processes of small producers.
Keywords: transformation - colombian small coffee growers - new scenarios - competitiveness - fair trade - digital marketing - economic and social development - revaluation of the peso– strategies – producers - international.