Impact of Integrated European Business Environment on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) Cooperation Strategies
Najda, M., Wach, K. (2005), Impact of integrated European business environment on SMEs cooperation strategies, "Ekonomia", no. 17, pp. 123-139 (ISSN 0137-3056)
17 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2004 Last revised: 21 Feb 2014
The article elaborates on conditions for SMEs in the EU and Poland as far as integrated EU business environment is concerned. It also focuses on the important role of the EU policy and integrated business environment on the cooperation strategies between SMEs. Although it was not the intention of the EU, the integration process favors Large-sized Enterprises in the run for market success. Yet, it does not mean that SMEs are on the lost position. The integrated European environment offers them a wide-range of opportunities but SMEs have to change their attitude and take their chances on the European market. For SMEs, due to their resources shortages, effective exploitation of market opportunities depends on built and developed internal core competences and firms' ability to gain external complementary competences and resources through cooperation with other participants of the market game irrespectively of their geographical localization. From the perspective of generated profits, crucial meaning has the competential rather than national identity of the firm. Therefore, owing to the EU integration, value creation processes take place within transnational or interregional networks of suppliers, customers, competitors. Nowadays, more and more products offered on the worldwide market are becoming effects of complex systems. A typical made-in-world product is represented by car - cars' components are designed and produced in various countries by diverse companies (Italian design, German plastic elements of the engine, French tires, American synthetic oil and microprocessors). Successful performance within economic mechanisms of fast growing interdependence raises the requirements concerning flexibility of SMEs functioning. Hence, firms' presence on the integrated European market is not the guarantee of success, instead it generates the opportunities of creating unique values - and SMEs have to learn how to recognize and use the chances offered by the environment. Since, much of these opportunities require integration of dispersed experiences, technologies, resources, competences, firms are forced to build their competitive advantages based on network cooperation. Due to internal limitations of SMEs, in terms of resources, competences as well as attitude towards and awareness of the environmental changes, there is a strong need for institutional support that would enhance cooperative spirit among SMEs and their competitiveness. This kind of support based on the EU policy would affect not only SMEs' willingness to cooperate but through influencing different dimensions of the business environment it will create more favorable conditions for already undertaken cooperative actions. The analysis of detailed effects of that influence should be the subject of further research.
Keywords: SMEs, business environment, networking, cooperation, European Union
JEL Classification: M13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation