Abstract: When SMEs Encounter Globalization: The Interrelation of Past, Present, and Future in the Strategic Process

Ellen Mølgaard

Abstract

When it comes to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the impact of globalization over the last twenty to thirty years, our knowledge is fragmented. For many companies, globalization is equated with a pressure to change. In the case of SMEs, we know only a little about how this challenge has been dealt with. That is to say we know only a little of the strategy of SMEs. It is a general assumption in research though that if a SME has a global profile it is a rational result of an interrelationship between the company's resources and its market. In my paper l seek to clarify how the Danish SME Fiberline has encountered globalization in its first ten years of history. The aim is to show that the company has acted through a strategic process that was based on its particular perception of the world, which inclined it to tread a particular path. As such the strategy of Fiberline was not a causal effect of an interrelationship between the company's resources and its market. Thus in starting to fill up the gap in our knowledge of SMEs' encounter with globalization, I will be challenging the general assumptions of the field of small business research.