The main objectives of the project are:
O1. To investigate the constraints and opportunities of European SMEs internationalization from an interdisciplinary perspective.
O2. To analyze the current stage of SMEs intellectual capital harnessing (human capital, relational capital and structural capital) in the European Union.
O3. To analyze the level of SMEs internationalization in Romania (the project, beginning, maturity stage, etc.).
O4. To develop an interdisciplinary conceptual model and a research instrument liable to incorporate the intellectual capital and the SMEs internationalization in an integrative manner.
O5. To increase the level of scientific knowledge (at the national and international levels) regarding the impact of intellectual capital on SMEs internationalization.
O6. To increase the Romanian managers’ awareness and knowledge on how to use SMEs intellectual capital in order to gain competitive advantages on international markets.
The original and innovative elements generated by the achievement of these objectives focus on two levels:
At the theoretical level: 1. The advancement and operationalization of an interdisciplinary conceptual model and the development of a research instrument (tested and assessed by means of structural equation modeling technique), capable of approaching intellectual capital and SMEs internationalization in an integrative manner; 2. The assessment of the measurement and structural model and of the research instruments in different European countries; 3. The creation of benchmarks for the future Romanian and European researches.
At the practical (applicable / instrumental) level: 1. The development of an exhaustive research report on the level and forms of accessing the intellectual capital in European SMEs, in general and in Romanian SMEs, in particular; 2. The development of a research report on the level and forms of accessing the intellectual capital in the Romanian SMEs from the perspective of internationalization and sustainable international partnerships; 3. The technological transfer of the research results into the organizational practice by disseminating project’s deliverables on a large scale; 4. The development of a handbook of good practices which will indicate the methods and techniques that could increase the efficiency of using intellectual capital in the process of SMEs internationalization.
Consistent with the elements of originality and innovation mentioned above, the expected impact of the project on an extended scientific and empirical area will include:
- Initiating new focuses and research directions in knowledge management and business internationalization by advancing an integrative theoretical model which approaches, in a correlative manner, the impact of intellectual capital on SMEs internationalization and on developing sustainable international partnerships;
- Creating a research design and a new research instrument (items, scales, measuring anchors, etc.) as a first step towards advancing a standardized instrument for measuring the intellectual capital of SMEs and of specialized / professional / business international networks.
- Advancing a new concept – “network-based intellectual capital” – which defines the intellectual capital that is available by creating, developing and accessing the intangible assets within international professional and business networks, communities, forums and online platforms, specialized in different fields and domains of activity.
- Applying the research instrument on representative samples (SMEs from different fields and areas of activity) with the possibility of results aggregation on different industries and fields and of establishing normative samples (standards / benchmarks) for investigating the intellectual capital as a competitive advantage in business internationalization.
- Increasing the level of knowledge regarding the correlation between intellectual capital and business internationalization, from a scientific perspective, and increasing the level of awareness on intellectual capital as a competitive advantage in the organizational and socio-economic environment, through systematic dissemination of the research results.
- The technological transfer of the research results into the private sector by organizing thematic conferences and workshops with a view to deliver the main conclusions of the research reports on industries / areas of activity and to popularize the main forms of accessing the intellectual capital in the business internationalization projects and in developing sustainable international partnerships.