1. bookVolume 25 (2017): Issue 4 (December 2017)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2658-2430
First Published
30 Mar 2015
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4 times per year
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English
access type Open Access

How to Successfully Internationalize SMEs from the CEE Region: The Role of Strategies of Differentiation and Education

Published Online: 15 Mar 2018
Volume & Issue: Volume 25 (2017) - Issue 4 (December 2017)
Page range: 2 - 27
Received: 23 Mar 2017
Accepted: 06 Aug 2017
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2658-2430
First Published
30 Mar 2015
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of the paper is to better understand why some SMEs who pursue a niche strategy on the international scale are more effective with a differentiation via innovation while others with marketing differentiation. Methodology: Therefore, the paper studies the effectiveness of different points of differentiation (innovation, marketing) of hidden champion type of companies: (1) from the perspective of the unknowns of the key success factors in the specific market segment, and (2) from the perspective of the professional mindset/education of the strategist. Findings: The results show that differentiation via innovation positively impacts firm performance when there are many market unknowns over key success factors, whereas marketing differentiation positively impacts firm performance when there are few market unknowns over key success factors. On the other hand, when top management earns a business education, the impact of marketing differentiation on firm performance is significant, positive, and strong. The effectiveness of differentiation via innovation does not depend on education. Research limitations/implications: These results mostly consider the hidden champion type of companies, which prefer not to reveal themselves or their data to the public. The transferability of this research is thus limited. Originality/value: This paper studies the hidden champion type of companies, which usually receive little attention from researchers, through the lens of differentiation via innovation and marketing differentiation as two distinct ways of competing as their effectiveness is contingent on the market unknowns.

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