Hidden behind the façade of the 21st Century’s global economy are international entrepreneurs and entrepreneurially-oriented firms, including E-Commerce-based enterprises, that are restructuring firms, industries and national markets for attaining higher competitiveness. While the large, mature and established companies continue with their older relations and further leverage their proven capabilities to embrace the challenges of the new frontiers, the newly-emerging smaller internationally-oriented companies are re-engineering value equation and consolidating their relations with the larger and established businesses at a frantic pace. In that process, both the newer and the older companies are re-creating themselves and the emerging competitive space within which they will have to compete side-by-side. These challenges call for a re-assessment of prevailing strategies and business models for all firms. This research-intensive conference focuses of the smaller firms.
International business and small business/entrepreneurship have been largely separate fields, both academically and practically. International business literature has traditionally focused on the large multinational companies while entrepreneurship/small business literature has addressed mainly issues associated with the evolution of new companies and the management of small business in a domestic context. As barriers segmented markets are falling rapidly, traditional distinctions will no longer hold. These new developments pose new theoretical and practical problems and merit a fresh examination.
Following the tradition established by the previous conferences, starting in 1998, this conference is designed to bring together leading-edge views of academic scholars and insightful practitioners from the fields of international business and small business / entrepreneurship in order to examine the cause(s) and the pattern(s) of emerging developments. It will provide scholars and managers with tools needed to operate successfully in the expanded business arena of the 21st Century. In previous plenary sessions, the contributions of prominent scholars, including Zoltan Acs, Howard Aldrich, Paul Beamish, Jerome Katz, Benjamin Oviatt and Patricia McDougall, played catalytic roles in forging fresh links among research topics, between scholars, researchers and practitioners, and pushed the frontiers forward.