Business Faculty Publications

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing


B2B markets; small-to-medium businesses; emerging markets; organizational ecology; marketing


Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations | Marketing


Purpose – The aim of this paper is to focus on the determinants that impact the growth of SMEs in B-to-B markets in emerging economies. The objective is to apply the classic model of organizational ecology to examine the characteristics of growth patterns in the B-to-B environment for SMEs in emerging markets, specifically India and China. Application of the model can guide SMEs owners/managers in their effort to successfully expand internationally in turbulent markets characterized by competitive and technological intensity. Design/methodology/approach – An overview of the basics of the organizational ecology model is presented, followed by the description of various economic drivers of B-to-B markets in India and China. The integration of the organizational ecology model and the strategic development of methods to deal with specific challenges of entering international markets are discussed. The paper concludes with managerial implications and suggestions for future research. Findings – Businesses operating in emerging markets face many of the same roadblocks concerning efficiencies, increasing competition, and the need for capital, that are experienced by businesses throughout the world, however, they also face challenges unique to the developmental nature of the country environment. Ecological models can be used to understand the dynamics between resource utilization and growth. Practical implications – The ecology-based view evaluates the utilization of resources with a focus on how changes in resource availability impact the international growth strategy of the B-to-B firm in India and China. These two economies represent a large business environment, generally underdeveloped with regards to taking advantage of potential resource availability. Originality/value – While the significant economic contribution of SMEs is well understood, their business practices in emerging economies have not been extensively studied, especially in the B-to-B arena. The goal here is to stimulate the development of new insights for managing the complex relationships between the B-to-B SMEs, organizational ecology, and the international environment in emerging markets. This study extends the literature concerning factors that impact business success in important emerging markets such as India and China.