International Trade, Value Chains and SME Performance

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Wednesday 18 May 2022

01:00 PM - 02:15 PM






This session focuses on SME performance related to both trade and global value chains. The presentations consider how both trade and participation in GVCs can influence both the competitiveness and resilience of SMEs. Esin Yoruk uses data from Polish food and textile firms to examine how their networking activities influenced the firms’ ability to learn and adapt.  Senmao Xia  assesses how Chinese SMEs’ home country performance is influenced by their operations in developed markets through technological learning. Therefore, the session promises to reveal important insights into the performance of SMEs through trading and networking activities.

  • This event will discuss how inter-organisational learning in networks and Global Value Chains (GVCs) contributed to building sectoral resilience in the Polish food processing and clothing industries.

    Speaker: Esin Yoruk is an Associate Professor at ICTE - International Centre for Transformational Entrepreneurship and Research Associate at CBiS – Centre for Business in Society at Coventry University. She obtained her PhD in Innovation Management and S&T Policy from SPRU at University of Sussex. Her research interests are in technology and innovation management, SMEs and entrepreneurship from a systemic perspective and especially their contribution to economic, social and inclusive growth. She has publications in international journals such as Research Policy, Technological Forecasting and Social Change and Journal of Small Business Management as well as chapters in edited books. 

    Abstract: This research investigates how inter-organisational learning in networks and Global Value Chains (GVCs) contributed to building sectoral resilience in the Polish food processing and clothing industries. The Polish economy has been widely accepted as a resilient economy since its transition from socialist to a market economy, and even after the 2008 financial crisis. Drawing on the regional resilience literature, we develop a network-oriented conceptual framework based on the concepts of ‘adaptation’ and ‘adaptability’ for sectoral resilience that integrates network evolution, inter-organisational learning in these networks, and the role of history. We use unique primary data collected during the transition period, 1989-2001, which is complemented with secondary data on the networking activities of firms during 2004-2018. We find that the firms’ interactive learning functioned as an important contributor to the path-dependent network trajectories and resilience. We show that knowledge networks and GVCs presented different dynamics in their effects on learning and resulted in uneven sectoral resilience in food and clothing sectors. We discuss types of learning which lead to differences in resilience in these two sectors based on historical data.

  • In this session, Senmao will present his latest paper entitled: How can emerging-market SMEs domestically benefit from their performance in developed countries?

    Speaker: Dr. Senmao XIA is an Associate Professor at ICTE & CBiS, Coventry University, UK. He serves as the Vice President of Chinese Economic Association (Europe/UK) and acted as the chair for the organisation committee of this Association’s 31st Annual Conference in 2020. Senmao acts as the Managing Editor for JCEBS (SJR Q1) & IJCCM. He also serves as the associate editor for EJB (SciMag Q1) and the editorial board member for JDI (to be launched in Mar 2022). He was the guest editor for Technovation (ABS3) and IJTM (ABS2). Senmao is the Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy.

    Abstract: Many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from emerging economies consider entry into developed markets as a way to promote home country performance. Nevertheless, the extant literature aiming at large companies are not applicable to SMEs, and it is unclear how SMEs with a weak resource basis can improve their domestic performance through overseas venturing. This study leverages a resource-based view on data from 377 Chinese SMEs with operations in developed nations. The findings reveal that emerging-market firms’ overseas performance (both financial and non-financial) is positively related to their home country performance, with the technological learning and demonstration effect playing mediating roles. The relationship between host country performance and technological learning is positively moderated by firms’ resource integration capability. This study is among the first to identify the mechanism through which emerging-market SMEs’ operations in developed countries affects their home country performance. The findings are helpful in guiding emerging-market SMEs’ internationalization.