Firm Characteristic Determinants of SME Participation in Production Networks
This paper provides an empirical analysis of small and medium enterprise (SME) participation in production networks. It gauges firm characteristic determinants of SME participation in production networks. The empirical investigation utilises results obtained from an ERIA Survey on SME Participation in Production Networks, conducted over a three month period at the end 2009 in most ASEAN countries (i.e., Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Viet Nam, Cambodia, and Lao PDR) and China .
The results suggest that productivity, foreign ownership, financial characteristics, innovation efforts, and managerial/entrepreneurial attitudes are the important firm characteristics that determine SME participation in production networks. The paper extends the analysis to identify the determinants that allow SMEs to move from low to high quality or value adding participation in production networks. The results suggest that size, productivity, foreign ownership, and, to some extent, innovation efforts and managerial attitudes, are the important firm characteristics needed by SMEs to upgrade their positions in production networks. The finding suggests that SMEs really exploit competitiveness from economies of scale only when they are able to engage in production networks.