Design/methodology/approach – In China, a survey was administered to managers of SMEs in Shanghai and Guangzhou. In the USA, a survey was administered to managers of SMEs in three major cities. Competitive strategy, capabilities, uncertainty, and performance were measured by previously validated scales. Findings – Findings support the integrity Miles and Snow generic strategic typology. Performance satisfaction was significantly lower in firms employing a reactor strategy as opposed to those employing prospector, defender, or analyzer strategies. Additional support was found for the concept of strategic clarity, as businesses reporting moderate strategic clarity had lower levels of satisfaction with performance than those reporting either a single strategy or a combination emphasis on three equal strategies. Practical implications – Chinese SMEs tend to prefer cost-based approaches to their local markets. A differentiation market approach is challenging in most local Chinese economies due to the low wages of most jobs in an economy that is still largely centrally planned. In the USA, more disposable income leads to more market opportunities. While this situation is gradually changing in China, it is not at a point where SMEs feel comfortable pursuing totally differentiated strategies. Originality/value – Several distinctions in competitive strategy, capabilities, and environmental uncertainty between China and the USA are recognized by analysis. Analyzers and defenders in Chinese SMEs tend to follow industry prospectors with lower prices and/or superior service. They might change strategies after gaining a foothold in the market. Performance for SMEs with low strategic clarity often depends on established guanxi with governmental agencies or stated-owned enterprises, a situation very different from that in the USA. Keywords China, SMEs, Competitive strategy, Capabilities, Environment uncertainty Paper type Research paper Management Decision Vol. 53 No. 2, 2015 pp. 402-431 © Emerald Group Publishing Limited 0025-1747 DOI 10.1108/MD-04-2014-0222 Received 23 April 2014 Revised 6 September 2014 Accepted 18 November 2014 The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at: / 0025-1747.htm 402 MD 53,2 Downloaded by FGV At 06:03 11 May 2017 (PT)
Although much of the strategic management field is working with paradigms built around resources and capabilities, strategic group research continues to refine theory and test contingency models that emphasize fits among competitive strategy and other organizational and environmental constructs (Barth, 2003; Capps et al. , 2002; Leask and Parker, 2007; Parnell, 2013; Phelan et al. , 2002). Most published strategic group level research linking strategy and performance, however, has been performed in developed nations like the USA, while comparatively few studies in other nations have also considered factors such as capability development and strategic uncertainty (Parnell, 2008, 2010). Moreover, distinctions between large and small and medium sized
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 32 pages?