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In Quest of SME-Conducive Policy Formulation



Objective:The article focuses on the role of SMEs in the national, regional and global environment. The main objective of the article is to present the economic and social importance of SMEs in the context of policy formulation for their support and development.

Research Design & Methods: The article reviews the theoretical and empirical literature on SMEs and their role in business environment. Then the paper develops a set of questions and propositions to guide future research and policy.

Findings:The article describes a significant role of SMEs for job creation and economic dynamics. Over the economic considerations, relevance of SMEs is to be viewed also from a more broadly based socio – economic perspective; that is, SMEs being seen as a driving force of structural change on the one hand, and as stabilising factor for safeguarding a given economic setting with its institutional framework in the dynamics of change on the other.

Implications & Recommendations: The complexity and dynamics of market processes determine the diversification of SME policy. Identifying contemporary challenges faced by SMEs are ‘building stones’ for specific policy formulation in the future.

Contribution & Value Added:The study highlights the need to deepen the understanding of the current role of SMEs for the labour market and welfare. What is more, the SMEs policy should be articulated more offensively as a key component of the economic policy in general.


SMEs, policy formulation, environment


Author Biography

J. Hanns Pichler

em.o.Univ.-Prof.Dr.Dr.h.c. J. Hanns Pichler


Born in 1936, Austrian citizen, married (to Dr. Hannelore M. Pichler-Haslinger v.d. Linden, C.P.A.), 3 children


Graduated from University of Economics & Business Administration, Vienna: Master's (Dkfm.) 1958,

Doctorate 1960; and Univ. of Illinois, USA, M.Sc.


(Economics/Econometrics) 1963; further studies also in Germany, UK, Greece


1962-1963 Lecturer, Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Illinois,




1965/67 "Habilitation" (Dr. habil.) in Economics, University of Economics & Business Administration, Vienna


1965-70 Economist/Senior Economist, World Bank, Washington D.C., with far ranging


experience in country economic, sector and project work in Latin America, the Caribbean,


Eastern Africa, South and South-East Asia


1970-73 Senior Economist/Resident Representative of the World Bank Group, with


particular responsibility for Pakistan (including former East Pakistan, later Bangladesh)


and adjacent regions; board member in this capacity also of industrial development


banks/finance companies in the area


1973-2004 Full Professor (Chair: "Political Economy and International Development"),


University of Economics & Business Administration, Vienna; Professor emeritus (since


Oct. 2004); 1975-97 Chairman, Faculty of Economics; 1996-2000 Vice-Dean of Studies


for International Programs; 1997-2001 University Faculty Chairman; 1999-2004 Head,


Department of Economics; 1975-94 Guest Professorship, University of Agro-Sciences,


Vienna; Member Examinations Committee: University of Agro-Sciences, Vienna (since


1983) and Faculty of Social & Economic Sciences, University Vienna (since 1992);


International Committee, MEDCAMPUS Engineering Management Postgraduate


Certificate Program, Ankara; Overseas Supervisor, China Scholarship Council


Senior Schumpeter Fellow, Center for European Studies/Harvard University


Professional Memberships: Rencontres de St-Gall (Switzerland); Austrian Economic


Association; Gesellschaft für Ganzheitsforschung, Vienna; Legatus Austriae,


Academia Scientiarum et Artium Europaea (Dean, Class V, 1995-2001); Club of


Rome (Austrian Chapter); European Council for Small Business (ECSB, Past Vice-


President); Past-President, International Council for Small Business (ICSB); Austrian


Society of Business History; Association of Austrian University Professors


Editor/Editorial Boards: “Zeitschrift fuer Ganzheitsforschung“ (Vienna); "ZfKE. Zeitschrift


fuer KMU und Entrepreneurship" (Berlin-Munich-St.Gallen); “Journal of Small


Business & Entrepreneurship" (Ottawa); “Population Manager-ICOMP Review" (Kuala


Lumpur); “WASME Newsletter“ (New Delhi, til 2005); „Journal of Small Business


Management“ (U.S.); Newsletter, SME Research Austria; Piccola Impresa/Small


Business. Rivista internazionale di studi e ricerche (Urbino/Italy); Scientific Council,


Review of International Comparative Management (Bucharest)


President/Chairman: Austrian Institute for SME Research; Gesellschaft fuer


Ganzheitsforschung, Vienna


Vice-Chairman, Austrian Foundation for Development (OeFSE, til 2007); Vice-President,


European Institute for Standards on Investment Studies (EUSIS)


Board Member: Austrian Latin America-Institute (LAI); Schumpeter Association Vienna;


Oeko-Forum Austria; International Council for Small Business; Institute of Business


Ethics and Entrepreneurial Culture, Vienna; Association of Friends of the Vienna




Advisory Boards: Ernst & Young, Vienna; Research Association on Mesolevel Economic


Issues, Munich; The American Biographical Institute (abi); Negeve Institute for


Strategies of Peace and Development/International Center for the Promotion of Small


and Mediumsize Enterprises (NISPED/InCeP-SME), Israel; Institute for Cooperation in


Development Projects (ICEP), Vienna; IDEA-International Development Enterprise


Associates, Washington, D.C.


European Representative, ICOMP-International Council on Management of Population


Programs (UN-NGO, Kuala Lumpur); Arbitrator, I.C.S.I.D. (World Bank); Consultant


World Bank Group, UNIDO




Doctoral Honors Prize, Austrian Chamber of Labour (1960); Cardinal Innitzer Science


Award (1966); University of Economics Honors Prize (1982); Austrian Cross of Honour


for Science & Art, First Class (1988); Leopold Kunschak-Award (1990); Honorary


Doctorate in Economics, Cath. Univ. Brussels (1994); „Festschrift“ on occasion of 60th


birthday (Berlin 1996); Grand Silver Decoration of Honour to the Republic of Austria


(2001); Wilford White Fellow, ICSB (2003); Gold Medal of Merit, Austrian Red Cross


(2004); Knight, Old Order of St. George/Order of the Four Roman Emperors (2006)


Languages: German (native), English, Spanish; some Russian, Urdu


Listings: Who is Who in Austria; Who's Who in the World; International Directory of


Distinguished Leadership; Who’s Who in Finance & Industry; Five Thousand Personalities


of the World; Kuerschners Deutscher Gelehrtenkalender; Who is Who, University of


Economics and Business Administration, Vienna; Millennium Hall of Fame (abi); Dictionary of International Biography and others


Books and numerous articles, especially on international economic issues, international finance, indebtedness, development and development strategies; on business leadership,


entrepreneurial values and attitudes, small and medium scale industrial structures


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