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Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2180; doi:10.3390/su9122180

Capturing Firms’ Heterogeneity through Marketing and IT Capabilities in SMEs

Department of Business Administration and Marketing, Pablo de Olavide University, 41013 Sevilla, Spain
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Received: 22 September 2017 / Revised: 11 November 2017 / Accepted: 21 November 2017 / Published: 25 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Abstract

To achieve sustainability, firms capable of surviving economic recessions is of key relevance; the capabilities that firms need to face dynamic environments remain an open question. In this work, a new procedure is proposed to capture firms’ heterogeneity with regard to the capabilities they possess in operating efficiently in dynamic environments. This approach enables the identification of the classes of firms that develop efficiency with a specific integration of resources. While the literature has most often measured firm capabilities using subjective measures, this study suggests the use of Data Envelopment Analysis to capture the ability to transform resources into outcomes and of Latent Class Regression to capture differences across firms that explain firms’ heterogeneity in the way they perform. By combining these two techniques, this work presents a way to identify those firms that need to invest in and develop certain capabilities. This work analyses a large dataset of manufacturing Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) extracted from the Business and Strategy survey provided by Fundación de la Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales( SEPI) in Spain. The dataset used enfolds 10,960 observations from 2048 firms during the period 1994–2011. The complete dataset has been employed to calculate manufacturing firms’ efficiency. In a second step, data were cleaned to eliminate outliers, and to identify SMEs and observations with records of IT capabilities. As a result, 329 manufacturing SMEs were analysed to capture their heterogeneity. The results contribute to the current literature by explaining how manufacturing SMEs show a different need in their development of capabilities to be efficient and adapt to environmental changes. While approximately 20% of firms analysed really take advantage of recessions through their investment in R&D, the remaining 80% need to adjust their size or invest in IT capabilities to become competitive. The assumption shown in previous studies regarding the performance of SMEs to better confront recessions is discussed in this paper. View Full-Text
Keywords: recession; efficiency; data envelopment analysis; latent class regression; dynamic markets; environmental forces; resource integration; manufacturers recession; efficiency; data envelopment analysis; latent class regression; dynamic markets; environmental forces; resource integration; manufacturers
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ramón-Jerónimo, M.A.; Herrero, I. Capturing Firms’ Heterogeneity through Marketing and IT Capabilities in SMEs. Sustainability 2017, 9, 2180.

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