Title: Perceived environmental uncertainty and strategic alliances in small and medium-sized enterprises

Authors: Ana Maria García-Pérez; Vanessa Yanes-Estévez; Juan Ramón Oreja-Rodríguez

Addresses: Departamento de Economía y Dirección de Empresas, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Instituto Universitario de la Empresa (IUDE), Universidad de La Laguna, Campus de Guajara, 38071-La Laguna, Canary Islands, Spain. ' Departamento de Economía y Dirección de Empresas, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Instituto Universitario de la Empresa (IUDE), Universidad de La Laguna, Campus de Guajara, 38071-La Laguna, Canary Islands, Spain. ' Departamento de Economía y Dirección de Empresas, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Instituto Universitario de la Empresa (IUDE), Universidad de La Laguna, Campus de Guajara, 38071-La Laguna, Canary Islands, Spain

Abstract: This study analyses the importance that small and medium-sized enterprises attach to forming strategic alliances according to the environmental uncertainty they perceive. The uncertainty is obtained by applying Duncan's (1972) typology, combining environmental dynamism and complexity. A sample of small and medium-sized enterprises from the Canary Islands (Spain) was studied during 2005, and the Rasch methodology was applied together with non-parametric tests (Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney). The conclusion reached is that the greater the uncertainty perceived, the greater the importance small and medium-sized enterprises attach to strategic alliances. Furthermore, the group of small and medium-sized enterprises that perceive their environment as being highly uncertain and that attach more importance to forming strategic alliances are characterised by being larger than other small and medium-sized enterprises. This study makes an important contribution by considering the perceptions of managers of small and medium-sized enterprises as key determining factors in understanding these firms' strategic processes. This contribution is reinforced through the use of the Rasch methodology.

Keywords: perceived uncertainty; environmental uncertainty; perceptions; strategic alliances; Rasch models; data analysis; Georg Rasch; Robert Duncan; typologies; environmental dynamism; environmental complexity; Canary Islands; Spain; non-parametric tests; Kruskal-Wallis test; one-way analysis; variance; William Kruskal; Wilson Allen Wallis; Mann-Whitney U test; non-parametric significance tests; Henry Mann; Donald Ransom Whitney; managers; determining factors; strategic processes; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; entrepreneurs; entrepreneurship research; Europe.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2012.049582

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2012 Vol.17 No.3, pp.355 - 377

Available online: 09 Oct 2012 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article