Innovation and Competitive Strategies in International SMEs

By Frédéric Le Roy, Olivier Torrès

English

This research aims to establish the link between innovation and internationalization by SMEs in the effort to connect to the more global aspect of their competitive strategy. Based on "strategic fit" theory, an empirical analysis of a sample of 58 SMEs shows that international SMEs differ significantly from regional SMEs on a number of competitive dimensions. International SMEs are exposed to more stringent requirements in terms of product differentiation and production cost minimization, and they follow a more intensive concentration strategy. R&D and product technology are part of the product differentiation strategy, while innovation in the production process is part of the cost minimization strategy.

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