What is it about?

This paper aims to assess the contribution of competitiveness factors in how small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) would access competitive advantage (CA) by focusing on industry structure and devise a conceptual model thereof. The method is qualitative and quantitative where grounded theory and exploratory factor analysis (EFA) are applied. The initial survey involves 36 deep semi-structured interviews with some of the top managers of each of the three selected industries and a questionnaire distributed among 158 individuals with 46 structured questions.

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Why is it important?

The findings here would assist SMEs’ managers in identifying the most essential factors in accessing CA. The innovation of this study is that although there exist many studies on SMEs and their competitive advantage, this study seeks the models of competitive advantage among SMEs in industries with different structures.


The findings indicate that the micro-competitiveness factors are more contributive in achieving CA than macro factors as follows: in knowledge-based enterprises, customer relationship management (CRM), goods/services features and knowledge management are the most important variables. The results of the EFA indicate that the three impressive factors, including capabilities of the enterprises, strategies of the enterprises and macro factors, are the extracted factors.

Dr Majid Mohammad shafiee
Department of Management, Faculty of Administrative Sciences & Economics, University of Isfahan

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: How competitiveness factors propel SMEs to achieve competitive advantage?, Competitiveness Review An International Business Journal incorporating Journal of Global Competitiveness, January 2020, Emerald,
DOI: 10.1108/cr-12-2018-0090.
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