European SME internationalization and distant markets: : exploring business development facilitation through east asian global cities, the case of Tokyo

Régnier, Philippe (School of Management Fribourg, HES-SO // University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland) ; Meier, Stephan (School of Management Fribourg, HES-SO // University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland - Chuo University Faculty of Management Tokyo Japan)

Objectives: Most European internationalized SMEs operate within Europe as their first destination. North American and East Asian markets are their 2nd and 3 rd export destinations. Since early 21 st century, East Asia has overtaken North America in m any sectors. This paper covers the first segment of a 2014-16 research project exploring how East As ian global cities provide business development services (BDS) to European SMEs aiming to enter dis tant East Asian markets. The whole project intends to study 4 cities (Bangkok, Hong Ko ng, Shanghai, Singapore), two cities being ranked as newly industrialized economies (Hong Kong, Singa pore). This paper is testing whether and how far the global city of Tokyo (ranked 3 rd after New York and London) could be used as a tenta tive model or at least reference, considering that Tokyo provides BDS services to both the Japanese and other East Asian markets. • Prior Work: There is substantial literature dealing with SME in ternationalization. Literature on global cities has started to pick up based on the i ntroduction of the concept by sociologist S. Sassen in 1991 (Princeton University), leading to t he construction of several global cities ‟ indexes during the late 1990s and 2000s. The issue is discussed by various social science disciplines (economics, geography, history, politic al science, sociology). It has been addressed in management studies by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) and related scholars since the mid-2000s. • Approach: SME Internationalization refers to activities rangi ng from exports of goods or services up to direct investment and other types of partnership s overseas. It has been studied for long (IB and management), but no single theory captures all its dimensions. Global cities act as efficient eco- systems and business entry hubs. They are considere d as key node in global affairs, playing strategic functions along a hierarchical organization of worl d finance, technology and trade. The integration of SME internationalization in the interdisciplinary s tudy field of global cities is recent. It was initi ated by GEM related research papers like Acs, Bosma and Steinbe rg (2008), The Entrepreneurial Advantage of Worl d Cities: Evidence from GEM Data. Taylor (2004) and Fritsch & Falck (2007) have also underlined that SME development services were still lacking in a great number of metropolitan cities. • Results and Implications: The paper presents the first phase of the project (spring-summer 2014), namely the testing of its conceptual framework and the tentative exploration of Tokyo as a potential global city reference or model. Based on two Tokyo- based foreign SME and BDS research samples, it includes a discussion of findings and introduces po ssible theory and practical implications • Value: The paper, based on the new theory proposed by Acs and al. (2008), adopts an interdisciplinary approach trying to cross-fertiliz e two sources of knowledge: (i) SME internationalization, (ii) the hub servicing role o f global cities. It suggests implications for scien tists and practitioners.

Type de conférence:
full paper
Adresse bibliogr.:
Manchester, United Kingdom, 5-6 November 2014
Manchester, United Kingdom
5-6 November 2014
24 p.
Titre du document hôte:
Proceedings of Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE) Annual Conference 2014
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