Knowledge Based Firms from Central and Eastern European Countries: A Comparative Overview of Case Studies

27 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2011 Last revised: 27 Jul 2011

See all articles by Richard Woodward

Richard Woodward

Centre for Social and Economic Research (CASE); University of Edinburgh - Business School

Slavo Radosevic

University College London - School of Slavonic and East European Studies

Deniz E. Yoruk

University of Sussex

Date Written: July 13, 2011

Abstract

This paper focuses on knowledge-based entrepreneurship, or new firm creation in industries which are considered to be science-based or to use research and development intensively, in the East Central European (ECE) context. On the basis of case studies of thirteen knowledge-based firms in six ECE countries, we suggest that KBE firms in these countries may differ in some important ways from the conventional picture of new technology based firms. In general, we see the ECE knowledge-intensive firm as a knowledge-localizer or customizer, adapting global knowledge to local needs on the domestic market, rather than a knowledge-creator generating new solutions for global markets. The entrepreneurs who start and run these businesses are skilled at spotting trends early and bringing them to their countries. Based in countries that generally have poor reputations as sources of innovative, high-technology products, but having established strong brands for themselves in their home markets, they are struggling with the challenge of entering export markets with products and services that can achieve global, or at least regional, recognition. The studies of the companies discussed here suggest that ECE firms are still in the early stages of this strategic shift.

Keywords: knowledge-based economy, entrepreneurship, transition, post-communist, SMEs, Case studies, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania

JEL Classification: L26, O31, O52, P27

Suggested Citation

Woodward, Richard and Radosevic, Slavo and Yoruk, Deniz E., Knowledge Based Firms from Central and Eastern European Countries: A Comparative Overview of Case Studies (July 13, 2011). CASE Network Studies and Analyses No. 428/2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1885366 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1885366

Richard Woodward (Contact Author)

Centre for Social and Economic Research (CASE) ( email )

Al. Jana Pawła II 61/212
00-944 Warsaw, 01-031
Poland

University of Edinburgh - Business School

University of Edinburgh
29 Buccleuch Place
Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 9JS
United Kingdom

Slavo Radosevic

University College London - School of Slavonic and East European Studies ( email )

Malet Street
London WC1E 7HU
United Kingdom

Deniz E. Yoruk

University of Sussex ( email )

Sussex House
Falmer
Brighton, Sussex BNI 9RH
United Kingdom

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