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Title: Regional and firm level determinants of international competitiveness : an examination of SME's role, capability and competencies
Author: Cook, Mark
Awarding Body: University of Wolverhampton
Current Institution: University of Wolverhampton
Date of Award: 2008
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In our increasingly globalised world, supranational regions, nation states and individual country regions are progressively more in competition with one another. How the nation state and region can become more competitive and how this competitiveness can be measured is open to debate. This thesis presents work based upon two aspects that have been proffered as to how competitiveness at the country and region level can be explained, that is through investment (via Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)) inflows and through the development of enterprise and in particular the enhancement of the small firm in international markets. The theme that runs through the thesis is one of competitiveness and competence. The competence of the region to attract FDI and the competence of the entrepreneur and the SME to undertake internationalisation. The thesis begins by examining the concepts of national and regional competitiveness. Two of the determinants of national and regional competitiveness are then considered - FDI and the level of small firm activity/entrepreneurship. The paper analyses the empirical and theoretical work on FDI and considers how regional competencies/factors can be used to attract FDI. SME internationalisation and its impact on regional competitiveness are then examined, focussing on the resources and competences, at the level of the entrepreneur and the firm, which influence SME internationalisation. The thesis contributes to the richness of understanding of the complex relationship between the range of explanatory factors at a regional, national and supra-national level that influence inbound FDI. In particular providing a much better understanding of UK regional FDI inflows. The section on internationalisation of SMEs contributes to the understanding of entrepreneurial and firm competences through the study of small firms at the county level of Northamptonshire. This county is a relatively under-researched area in the study of SMEs and in the study of the county's SME activity in international markets it has been even more sparsely investigated.
Supervisor: Ahmed, Pervaiz K. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: SMEs ; FDI ; Regional competitiveness ; Competencies ; Internationalisation ; FDI determinants ; Entrepreneurial factors