Strategies for Internationalization within SMEs: The Key Role of the Strategic Leader and the Impact of Organizational Culture Lester Loyd Reason

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) today are faced with the critical issue of how to create and maintain a sustainable competitive advantage in the light of the increased complexity of international trade and business links. The strategic imperative facing firms of all sizes is how to respond to the double pressures of trade liberalisation and increasing international competition. Traditional ways of competing whereby the firm could differentiate itself on the basis of technology, product or price are fast disappearing and the firm must look to new solutions. Firms able to access the benefits of international markets such as low cost production facilities, economies of scale in production, distribution marketing and management and able to translate these benefits into lower prices are able to decimate those enterprises still stuck in their old assumptions about the way in which the business world works.