This paper identifies three generic strategies for SMEs taking into account explicitly their resource disadvantage. In addition to the much advocated niching strategy, we show that SMEs can free-ride on the bigger firm's market development efforts and/or they can form strategic alliances to force accommodation by the bigger rivals. Contrary to conventional arguments, we show that success in niching is not conditional upon the continued ignorance of the niche by the bigger firms. It is also not true that the SMEs must have a cost advantage vis-à-vis the bigger firms in order to niche or to free-ride successfully. The bigger firms faced with entry into their markets by SMEs encounter the classical chain-store paradox. The three generic strategies proposed here are designed to force accommodation by the bigger firms.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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