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Service Competence and Firm Performance : Towards a Concept for Strategic Differentiation for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

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Even though small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a vital role in world economies, strategic management research provides only limited insight into SME strategies. Scholars to date have mainly emphasized size-related disadvantages which small firms have to face in comparison to large corporations. In this paper we therefore argue that SMEs can gain competitive advantage through providing high quality services to their customers. Based on their service competence, long-term service relationships enable small business firms adapt to their services to changing business environments and to offer customized services and hence to outperform large corporations. To stay ahead of competitors, providers must have a bundle of dynamic capabilities to constantly reshape their activities and the way they operate. In this paper, we introduce service competence as a construct to describe these capabilities and develop a set of propositions on how organizational antecedents influence the service competence of an organization.
   
type conference paper (English)
   
keywords
   
project Dienstleistungskompetenz – strategische Differenzierung für KMUittelunternehmen
name of conference Rencontres de St-Gall 2008
date of conference 1-9-2008
title of proceedings Innovation, Competitiveness, Growth and Tradition in SMEs : Papers presented to the Rencontres de St-Gall 2008
page(s) 8
publisher KMU-Verlag HSG (St. Gallen)
ISBN 3-906541-26-6
review not reviewed
   
citation Fueglistaller, U., & Schrettle, T. (2008). Service Competence and Firm Performance: Towards a Concept for Strategic Differentiation for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. In Innovation, Competitiveness, Growth and Tradition in SMEs : Papers presented to the Rencontres de St-Gall 2008, pp.8. St. Gallen: KMU-Verlag HSG. - ISBN 3-906541-26-6.