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Motivating SMEs to cooperate and internationalize: a dynamic perspective
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration. University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2017 (English)Collection (editor) (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Motivating cooperation among and internationalization of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Northern Europe is a challenging task. SMEs in Northern Europe are typically located in small remote towns or villages, over large geographic areas, with limited resources. Although in theory, they create employment opportunities, stabilize local socio-economic conditions, and contribute to tax revenue they often require significant managerial knowhow and assistance. Their typical local orientation often prevents them looking beyond their perceived boundaries. In order to extend their inherent capabilities, they need to be entrepreneurial, innovative, and international in their managerial abilities.

Most Northern European countries offer assistance to SMEs in numerous forms on local, regional, and national levels. Government assistance is generally directed to the overall operations of SMEs and is seldom directed to improving management to their skills and knowhow. Entrepreneurial, innovative, and even international initiatives are personal. Individual managers are sources of ideas, products, programs, and cross border ventures. Northern European SMEs depend on strong managers—managers who understand local strategic dynamics and seize their advantages.

Northern European SMEs do not operate in a vacuum. They frequently cooperate strategically and operationally with other SMEs in their regions. They form industrial clusters with integrated supply chains, internal research and engineering services to develop competitive products and services, and share marketing and sales organizations among other activities. Their futures often depend on exports and on international ventures in some cases.

One of the unique characteristics of SMEs in Northern Europe, is their willingness to cooperate with regional universities and other educational institutions. SMEs managers help academics learn about their managerial styles, they respond to academic research, and open their operations to case research studies. Academics learn from direct contact with SMEs managers. And, this is not a one-way street. Managers also learn from the academics.

Academics help managers be entrepreneurial, make better decisions, and think strategically. Transfer of knowledge from academics to SMEs managers represents an important way of growing SMEs. This publication is dedicated to Professor Håkan Boter of Umeå School of Business and Economics at Umeå University. He is one academic who has been extensively involved with the transfer of knowledge from academia to SMEs in Northern Europe.

During his career, Professor Boter initiated and participated in projects designed to foster cooperation and internationalization among SMEs in Northern Europe and facilitate their growth. These projects include the establishment of the Center of Inter-Organizational Innovation Research (CiiR) and the Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Business Development (CEIB) among other initiatives. Professor Boter reached across the borders of academia to SMEs and often served as an advisor, coordinator, facilitator, mediator, and information source. His commitment to developing management expertise in eastern Africa under the auspices of the Swedish International Development Agency has been extraordinary as is his participation in a coalition of major European and North American international universities to promote management education among African universities. Professor Boter has authored and coauthored many widely recognized papers and monographs on managerial aspects of SMEs, their cooperation, and internationalization. His contributions provided an impetus for this project. We thank you, Håkan!

George Tesar, Madison, Wisconsin

Zsuzsanna Vincze, Umeå, Sweden

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: Routledge, 2017. , p. 232
Series
Routledge studies in small business
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-141897ISBN: 9781138220577 (print)ISBN: 9781315412603 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-141897DiVA, id: diva2:1157327
Available from: 2017-11-15 Created: 2017-11-15 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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Language
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Output format
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