Be international? Be innovative? Be international and innovative? Following the logic of the upper echelon (UE) perspective, this paper studies the impact of the entrepreneur(s) demography, background, and experience on their strategic choices, i.e., innovation, internationalization, or a combination of the two strategies. We employ cluster analysis on a sample of 88 Italian Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) operating in different industries to classify the firms along their entrepreneur(s)’ characteristics. Three significantly different clusters emerge, i.e., the typical Italian family firms, a group of businesses led by solitary self-made men, and the teamfounded firms. The three groups are related to differences in internationalization behavior and innovation practice. Family-led firms are mainly domestic and concentrated on product innovation, while team-founded firms combine intensive internationalization with innovative marketing and management practices. A third cluster describes the solitary founder with serial business experience, whose businesses foster product and process innovation combined with moderate levels and scope of internationalization. Furthermore, our findings reveal that internationalization tends to be related to the type of innovation, much more than to R&D intensity or other measures of novelty (i.e., radical or incremental).

Be international or be innovative? Be both? The role of the entrepreneurial profile

Denicolai, Stefano;Hagen, Birgit;
2015

Abstract

Be international? Be innovative? Be international and innovative? Following the logic of the upper echelon (UE) perspective, this paper studies the impact of the entrepreneur(s) demography, background, and experience on their strategic choices, i.e., innovation, internationalization, or a combination of the two strategies. We employ cluster analysis on a sample of 88 Italian Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) operating in different industries to classify the firms along their entrepreneur(s)’ characteristics. Three significantly different clusters emerge, i.e., the typical Italian family firms, a group of businesses led by solitary self-made men, and the teamfounded firms. The three groups are related to differences in internationalization behavior and innovation practice. Family-led firms are mainly domestic and concentrated on product innovation, while team-founded firms combine intensive internationalization with innovative marketing and management practices. A third cluster describes the solitary founder with serial business experience, whose businesses foster product and process innovation combined with moderate levels and scope of internationalization. Furthermore, our findings reveal that internationalization tends to be related to the type of innovation, much more than to R&D intensity or other measures of novelty (i.e., radical or incremental).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1212912
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