by Tonino Pencarelli, Simone Splendiani and Elisa Nobili
International Journal of Business & Economics, Vol.10 n.1/2010.
10th Global Conference on Business & Economics, Rome (Italy), October 15-16, 2010
This work aims to understand the strategic behavior of small local businesses during the global economic crisis in the year 2009. The brief initial literature review on strategies related to the crisis identifies primary strategic behavior recognized by most authors as a response to the crisis. The authors then verify applications through a field survey, carried out on a sample of over 300 sectorally different small and micro enterprises affected by the crisis. The research shows a complex picture of the crisis, with uneven and varied dynamics. The strategic responses of Small Businesses are often defensive and aimed at reducing the impacts of the decrease in turnover and profit margins through rationalization and downsizing strategies. We emphasize, however, also cases of active response, such as growth through internalization or strategies aimed at redefining the business.