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Benchmarking competitive methods and strategic choices of Portuguese SMEs: Traditional practices and new realities

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to analyze and benchmark the strategic approaches utilized by Portuguese small and medium enterprises manufacturing organizations in response to the competitive pressures in the European and global markets. Design/methodology/approach ‐ For the purpose of this paper, factor analysis and cluster analysis are used to analyze and to compare responses obtained from a cross-sectional sample of 68 Portuguese manufacturing organizations. Findings ‐ Based on the results of the analysis, it appears that the sampled organizations are following hybrid strategic orientations. These strategic orientations appear to be motivated by well-defined mixed strategies. The strategic elements of e-business are detected in these mixed strategies. Research limitations/implications ‐ The sample used in this paper is specific in nature (Portuguese manufacturing organizations). Thus, the results should be interpreted accordingly. Practical implications ‐ This paper attempts to shed some light on the effectiveness of current strategic practices of Portuguese manufacturing organizations. The findings of this paper have practical benchmarking strategic implications. Originality/value ‐ This paper investigates the nature and scope of new strategic orientations utilized by manufacturing organizations. Evidence of the presence of innovative, mixed strategies is uncovered.
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Keywords: Benchmarking; Competitive strategy; Generics; Portugal; Small to medium-sized enterprises; Strategic choices

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 23 October 2009

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