Special Issue "Collaboration, Risk Management and Governance in SMEs: Drivers of Competitiveness and Innovation towards meeting the SDGs"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Juan Manuel Ramon-Jeronimo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla, Spain
Interests: management control systems; supply chain management; sustainable partnership; international business; SMEs
Dr. Raquel Florez-Lopez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Accounting and Finance, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla, Spain
Interests: risk management; supply chain management; sustainable development goals (SDGs); international business; SMEs
Dr. Sanjay V. Lanka
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
The University of Sheffield
Interests: sustainable development goals (SDGs); social and environmental accounting; improved food supply chain valorisation; sustainability of SMEs
Dr. Pedro Araujo-Pinzon
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Universidad de Cádiz, Spain
Interests: accounting change; control systems; sustainable partnership; gender

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Internationalisation is one of the key factors of economic growth. However, internationalisation is especially complex for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which have limited resources to deal with increasingly competitive and uncertain markets. For such companies, partnerships are key drivers of internationalisation, as these partnerships create synergies which can help develop new skills and competencies. However, the partnerships also introduce coordination problems and opportunities including with regards to meeting the Sustainable development goals (SDGs). There are, therefore, practical and academic reasons for trying to understand the manner in which these business partnerships operate and create value while promoting the SDGs.

This Special Issue will comprise a selection of papers addressing, among others, concerns linked to:

(1) Understand the nature of international partnerships in SMEs, how they create value and sustainable relationships.;

(2) Analyse the appropriate combination of antecedents, governance mechanisms, risk and competitiveness in the process of internationalization of SMEs that give consideration to the SDGs;

(3) Show the impact of different strategies of internationalisation in export performance, solving the traditional dissociation between gradual and rapid internationalisation models in sustainable partnerships;

 (4) Understanding the role of entrepreneurs in the internationalization process and their impact in the creation of value that promotes the elimination of poverty and reduces inequality;

(5) Explaining the role of the export promotion agencies in the creation of value for international SMEs and their impact in creating sustainable export activities based on the creation of sustainable supply chains; and

(6) the role of management control and information systems in the internationalization process of SMEs, open but not limited to risk management systems, ERPs, performance measurement systems, scorecards, etc.

Dr. Juan Manuel Ramon-Jeronimo
Dr. Raquel Florez-Lopez
Dr. Sanjay V. Lanka
Dr. Pedro Araujo-Pinzon
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • International partnerships to promote the SDGs
  • Entrepreneurship
  • International SMEs
  • International control systems.
  • Sustainable development goals (SDGs)
  • Sustainable supply chains in SMEs
  • Increase valorization for SMEs

Published Papers (9 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle
Artificial Intelligence Based Commercial Risk Management Framework for SMEs
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4501; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164501 - 20 Aug 2019
Abstract
Risk management in commercial processes is among the most important procedures affecting the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), their innovativeness and potential contribution to global sustainable development goals (SDGs). The ecosystem of commercial processes is the prerequisite to manage risk faced [...] Read more.
Risk management in commercial processes is among the most important procedures affecting the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), their innovativeness and potential contribution to global sustainable development goals (SDGs). The ecosystem of commercial processes is the prerequisite to manage risk faced by SMEs. Commercial risk assessment and management using elements of artificial intelligence, big data, and machine learning technologies could be developed and maintained as external services for a group of SMEs allowing to share costs and benefits. This paper aims to provide a conceptual framework of commercial risk assessment and management solution based on elements of artificial intelligence. This conceptualization is done on the background of scientific literature, policy documents, and risk management standards. Main building blocks of the framework in terms of commercial risk categories, data sources and workflow phases are presented in the article. Business companies, state policy, and academic research focused recommendations on the further development of the framework and its implementation are elaborated. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Agglomeration, Structural Embeddedness, and Enterprises’ Innovation Performance: An Empirical Study of Wuhan Biopharmaceutical Industrial Cluster Network
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3922; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143922 - 18 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Industry cluster’s agglomeration effects facilitate higher productivity for enterprises located in the industry cluster. This paper examines the agglomeration effects of industry cluster on firm’s innovation performance through studying the network embeddedness of the biopharmaceutical companies using cross-sectional data from 2011 to 2015. [...] Read more.
Industry cluster’s agglomeration effects facilitate higher productivity for enterprises located in the industry cluster. This paper examines the agglomeration effects of industry cluster on firm’s innovation performance through studying the network embeddedness of the biopharmaceutical companies using cross-sectional data from 2011 to 2015. Measuring the technological cooperation network with text analysis of the interfirm agreement among core enterprises, we found that betweenness centrality and clustering coefficient have statistically significant and positive effects on enterprise’s ability for technological innovation, while the influence from the constraint of structural holes is negative. Our results suggest that government should allow the leading enterprises to establish professional technology cooperation platforms and provide additional support to promote cooperation among firms. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Resource-Based View and SMEs Performance Exporting through Foreign Intermediaries: The Mediating Effect of Management Controls
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3241; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123241 - 12 Jun 2019
Abstract
Following the resource-based view, this research empirically explores the role of formal and informal management control in mobilizing export resources to develop export capabilities, influencing the export performance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in an interorganizational relationship context. Empirical data were collected [...] Read more.
Following the resource-based view, this research empirically explores the role of formal and informal management control in mobilizing export resources to develop export capabilities, influencing the export performance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in an interorganizational relationship context. Empirical data were collected using a survey administrated online to finance managers in Spanish SMEs which use foreign intermediaries to access export markets. In this setting, evidence mainly suggests, first, that management control systems (MCSs) play a relevant mediating role between the effect of, on the one hand, resources on capabilities, and, on the other hand, resources and capabilities on performance. Second, that MCSs and capabilities play a interrelated double mediating effect between the impact of resources on performance; more specifically, a significant double indirect effect is found (1) between financial resources, behavior control, customer relationship building capability and performance, and (2) between physical resources, behavior control, customer relationship building capability and performance. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Berry Supply Chain Management: An Empirical Approach
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2862; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102862 - 20 May 2019
Abstract
The aim of this study is to explore the strategy and supply chain management characteristics of berry-related companies to face the bargaining power unbalance that fosters the European fresh food supply chain; branding-differentiation strategies are particularly explored as mechanisms to create sustainable value [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to explore the strategy and supply chain management characteristics of berry-related companies to face the bargaining power unbalance that fosters the European fresh food supply chain; branding-differentiation strategies are particularly explored as mechanisms to create sustainable value for all players along the chain. To this end, a case study is deeply analyzed to find out the different supply chain management mechanisms used by an international berry marketer in order to strengthen the adoption of a commodity differentiation strategy through the creation and positioning of a high-value brand. Data were obtained through 15 semi-structured interviews. Findings suggest that strategic moves towards differentiation and positioning might be bolstered by the development and management of stable relationships with the different members involved in the supply chain. Additionally, supply chain risk-control mechanisms, rather than having a central role in the management of the various members of the chain, turned out to be support mechanisms that work together with corporate identity alignment and inter-organizational trust in order to ensure cooperation toward differentiation and positioning in the market. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Impact of Regional Public Agencies on Firms’ Internationalization Processes: Evidence from Case Studies
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2813; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102813 - 16 May 2019
Abstract
To achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the support for the internationalization of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) for inclusive and sustainable growth needs improvement. Decided to accomplish these global goals, many regional governments have established regional public agencies aiming [...] Read more.
To achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the support for the internationalization of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) for inclusive and sustainable growth needs improvement. Decided to accomplish these global goals, many regional governments have established regional public agencies aiming at increasing MSME competitiveness. In the area of internationalization, regional governments have created Regional Export Promotion Agencies (REPA), which are a type of Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) that has been implemented, for instance, in all Spanish regions. However, we found a gap in the literature since there is not enough evidence on the utility of the services provided by TPOs. Thus, the aim of this paper is to explore how a REPA interacts with firms when they internationalize and cooperates with the corresponding Regional Development Agency (RDA) during this process. The preliminary findings suggest that a better coordination between both Regional Agencies is required. In addition, further financial measures to support firms in the first stages of the internationalization processes as well as an improvement of communication activities to increase awareness of the services offered are demanded by the firms. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Internationalization Business Models and Patterns of SMEs and MNEs: A Qualitative Multi-Case Study in the Agrifood Sector
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2755; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102755 - 14 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) in the agri-food sector have been overcoming internationalization barriers. However, research is scarce, specifically to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, despite the importance of the sector. The main aim of our study is to [...] Read more.
Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) in the agri-food sector have been overcoming internationalization barriers. However, research is scarce, specifically to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, despite the importance of the sector. The main aim of our study is to explore the archetypes and internationalization pace of internationalized SMEs and MNEs in the agri-food sector, adopting an external perspective and an empirical approach. More particularly, the influence of the interaction of demand-side innovation and management control systems (MCSs) in companies in the industry is examined. A qualitative research design was developed in order to achieve an in-depth understanding of the contextual factors affecting international SMEs and MNEs in the agri-food sector. Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with three SME and three MNE managers. Our findings suggest that SMEs are not fundamentally different from MNEs—both types of organizations best fit the Casino model archetype. It was also found that strong competition helps the development of collaborative innovation, directing advancement toward fulfilling consumer demand. MCSs are neither communicating information nor managing perceived risks by creating trust and confidence; they are mostly used for diagnostic purposes, not substantially influencing the innovation process. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Signaling Trustworthiness to Stakeholders: International vs. Domestic Entrepreneurs
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2130; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072130 - 10 Apr 2019
Abstract
This study focuses on how domestic and international entrepreneurs convince stakeholders that they are trustworthy. Drawing on the signaling theory, this paper explores how both types of entrepreneurs send signals, displaying a specific behavioral pattern, in order to communicate information regarding their abilities, [...] Read more.
This study focuses on how domestic and international entrepreneurs convince stakeholders that they are trustworthy. Drawing on the signaling theory, this paper explores how both types of entrepreneurs send signals, displaying a specific behavioral pattern, in order to communicate information regarding their abilities, benevolence, and integrity. Thus, it analyzes whether international and domestic entrepreneurs signal, in a similar manner, their trustworthiness. Likewise, it explores whether there are differences depending on the stakeholder type and setting. We analyzed 16 different case studies, focusing on the point of view of the entrepreneur, suggesting a specific common set of relevant trustworthy antecedents, such as motives, alignment, interpersonal, functional, and specific competences. Our results identify two trustworthy patterns that show varying signals sent across stakeholders by each entrepreneur type. Our approach allows for identifying specific behavioral schemes for each stakeholder group. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Analysis and Comparison of Economic and Financial Risk Sources in SMEs of the Visegrad Group and Serbia
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 1853; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11071853 - 28 Mar 2019
Cited by 21
Abstract
Risk management is one of the most important internal process, not only in large companies but also in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). To identify the source of risk can be crucial in all companies. The primary objective of this study is to [...] Read more.
Risk management is one of the most important internal process, not only in large companies but also in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). To identify the source of risk can be crucial in all companies. The primary objective of this study is to analyze and compare the economic and financial risk sources in SMEs of the V4 (Visegrad Group: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) and Serbia, in the context of the business environment of the countries analyzed. To achieve this goal, a questionnaire-based survey was carried out involving 2110 SMEs from Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Serbia. The questionnaire included questions about the importance of risks and the concept of risk management in the company. To test the formulated hypotheses, the following statistical tools were used: contingency tables, a Z-value, and a general non-hierarchical log-linear model with three categorical variables and a continuous covariate. Finally, the differences among V4 countries and Serbia were identified. Serbia is more vulnerable to the financial risk sources studied than the V4 countries. The result of the research shows that insufficient profit is more hazardous compared to the other risk sources and all countries are more vulnerable in in this issue. The article concludes with a discussion and a comparison with previous international researches. Full article

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview
Bridging Intellectual Capital and SMEs Internationalization through the Lens of Sustainable Competitive Advantage: A Systematic Literature Review
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2510; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092510 - 30 Apr 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The aim of the current paper is advance a comprehensive framework meant to bridge three major concepts, namely intellectual capital (IC), the internationalization process of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the achievement of sustainable competitive advantage. The paper stresses upon a managerial [...] Read more.
The aim of the current paper is advance a comprehensive framework meant to bridge three major concepts, namely intellectual capital (IC), the internationalization process of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the achievement of sustainable competitive advantage. The paper stresses upon a managerial perspective within the internationalization context, investigating the human, structural and relational capital apposite to managers or entrepreneurs. By directly addressing the relationships among the constructs, the endeavor is complementary to previous systematic reviews on similar topics which tangentially discuss the conceptual triad and thus proposes an integrative research agenda for future interdisciplinary studies straddling the fields of management, business, entrepreneurship and sustainability. In terms of methodology, a systematic literature review was envisaged, by applying a stepwise approach and multifold criteria. Over 100 scientific articles published in peer-reviewed journals were scrutinized and considered in the analysis. The literature review revealed that conceptual papers in the field are scarce despite the variety of their aims and approaches. The quantitative-based empirical studies prevail over the qualitative ones, while mixed methods research designs are scant. In terms of content, the extant studies fall short to advance research and structural models testing and assessing the specific relations among constructs and avail new research avenues focused on the underlying processes of SMEs internationalization by means of intellectual capital harnessing and sustainable competitive advantage achievement. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop