Title

How environmental uncertainty affects the link between business strategy and performance in SMEs: Evidence from China, Turkey, and the USA

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-27-2012

Abstract

This study aimed to examine the prospective role played by perceived environmental uncertainty in the strategy-performance linkage among SMEs in China, Turkey, and the USA. The strategic group level of analysis was employed. Generic strategy, environmental uncertainty, and performance were measured by previously validated scales. The combination strategy-performance linkage was supported in Turkey and the USA. In China, the highest performing strategic group emphasized a focus orientation accompanied by neither cost leadership nor differentiation, and the lowest performing group was comprised of low cost businesses. This study supported the combination strategy thesis in the USA and Turkey. In China, conceptualizations of strategy appear to be more complex. High performing businesses emphasized a focus strategy, but not necessarily in concert with either cost leadership or differentiation. Firms in the USA place a great deal of emphasis on uniqueness and individuality, translating into approaches based on differentiation and innovation. However, attempting to control costs and differentiate without a defined niche leaves a firm vulnerable to larger, more experienced competition. This study addresses the death of strategy-performance investigations in developing nations. Findings presented run counter to the notion that successful businesses in emerging economies emphasize cost leadership vis-à-vis differentiation. Conventional wisdom suggests that high performers tend to perceive greater certainty about their environments. The present analysis not only rejected this finding, but suggests that the opposite might be true. © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Publication Title

Management Decision

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS