To identify better practices of organizational learning for GOSMEs, I consulted people who lead SMEs that are successfully involved in global activities.
In fact, GOSMEs adopt a "bumble bee" approach (pollination model) by the use of formal training, generally outside the firm, for managers and supervisors; who, in turn, will transfer it within the firm (O'Dell and Grayson, 1998) (2).
Proposition 1: In order to improve the competence of their human resources, managers of GOSMEs favour mixed and complementary practices that facilitate the acquisition of explicit as well as tacit knowledge.
Proposition 2: In GOSMEs, the higher the position of a person in the organization, the more the person will acquire explicit knowledge outside the firm.
Proposition 3: The more standard the product of the GOSMEs, the more the firm will use multiple training providers, and the more customized the product of the firm the more it will rely on itself for human resources training.
Proposition 4: GOSMEs managers focus more on learning for discovery than on learning for imitation.
The level of uncertainty, the value of the source, and its accessibility influence GOSME scanning activities in a complementary way.
This paper identifies information sources and practices of environmental scanning preferred by managers of globally oriented small and medium-sized enterprises (GOSMEs).
The use of professionals or subsidiaries is particularly difficult for globally oriented small and medium-sized enterprises (GOSMEs), given their more limited resources (Earl and Feeny, 1995; Miller, DeMeyer, and Nakane, 1992) and the lack of subsidiaries in the majority of foreign countries where they are operating (Burgel and Murray, 2000).
The purpose of this study is to answer the following questions: what information sources and methods can GOSMEs use to become and remain informed about the issues essential to their activities?
To understand the environmental scanning practices of GOSMEs better, owner-managers of international SMEs (independents, with less than 500 employees, no subsidiaries, managed by owners) from the Province of Quebec (Canada) were chosen according to their recognized reputation in specialized magazines dealing with business, the number of countries where they are doing business (at least two foreign countries), and the relative success of their organizations in recent years (above the average of the industry).
The first three sectors of the current study have been identified in recent publications as the most challenging for GOSMEs (Cervantes, 1997; Dodge, Fullerton, and Robbins 1994; Karagozoglu and Lindell, 1998).