How small printing firms alleviate impact of pandemic crisis? Identifying configurations of successful strategies with fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis


Abstract

Objective: The objective of this article is to identify strategies that can help small firms alleviate the negative impact of the COVID-19 crisis. We test six strategies (namely, entrepreneurial, market penetration, market development, product development, diversification, and cooperation). In particular, we identify combinations of these strategies that can lead to performance during the current pandemic crisis.

Research Design & Methods: This is a quantitative study that uses fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA). We identify and compare combinations of strategies that are specific for three market conditions; namely, non-crisis, the initial phase of the crisis, and the advanced phase of the crisis. The research sample consists of 150 small printing enterprises operating across Poland.

Findings: Our findings show that combinations that can lead to firm performance during crises differ from those that are specific for non-crisis conditions. Specifically, the presence of a diversification strategy together with the absence of a market-penetration strategy along with the presence of entrepreneurial, market-development, and product-development strategies can lead to an increase in firm performance before the crisis. During the initial phase of a crisis, the presence of an entrepreneurial strategy together with a product-development strategy or a product-development strategy that is accompanied by a diversification strategy can lead to an increase in firm performance. During the advanced phase of the crisis, the presence of an entrepreneurial strategy together with a product-development strategy along with a set of entrepreneurial, market-penetration, market-development, and cooperation strategies can lead to an increase in firm performance. The most common strategies are product-development and entrepreneurial strategies; these are present under all market conditions.

Implications & Recommendations: This study confirms the role of a firm’s strategy. This study exposes the necessity of strategy adaptation to changing market conditions. In particular, this study indicates which strategies and their combinations enable a firm to alleviate the impact of the a crisis. These observations have meaningful managerial implications for entrepreneurs regarding the current COVID-19 pandemic crisis as well as possible future crises.

Contribution & Value Added: With its findings, this study contributes to the literature on the response to the COVID-19 crisis. In particular, this study indicates those strategies that can help firms mitigate the impact of the pandemic crisis. This study implements the fsQCA methodology to identify combinations of strategies that enable the mitigation of the negative impact of the crisis.


Keywords

strategy; crisis; Covid-19 pandemic; fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA); medium and small-sized enterprises (SME)

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Published : 2022-06-17


SuderM., KusaR., DudaJ., & DunskaM. (2022). How small printing firms alleviate impact of pandemic crisis? Identifying configurations of successful strategies with fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis. Entrepreneurial Business and Economics Review, 10(2), 61-80. https://doi.org/10.15678/EBER.2022.100204

Marcin Suder  msuder@agh.edu.pl
AGH University of Science and Technology  Poland
http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6279-7359

Assistant Professor at AGH University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Management; PhD in Economics and Management (2015, AGH University of Science and Technology, Krakow, Poland). His research interests include economics, econometrics, and quantitative research methods.

Correspondence to: dr Marcin Suder, Akademia Górniczo-Hutnicza, Wydział Zarządzania, ul. Gramatyka 10, 30-067 Krakow, Poland, e-mail: msuder@agh.edu.pl


Rafał Kusa 
AGH University of Science and Technology  Poland
http://orcid.org/0000-0002-9819-897X

Assistant Professor at AGH University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Management; PhD in Economics and Management (2007, Krakow University of Economics, Krakow, Poland). His research interests include strategic management, organizational entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, non-profit organizations, and tourist management.

Correspondence to: Dr Rafał Kusa, Akademia Górniczo-Hutnicza, Wydział Zarządzania, ul. Gramatyka 10, 30-067 Krakow, Poland, e-mail: rkusa@zarz.agh.edu.pl


Joanna Duda 
AGH University of Science and Technology  Poland
http://orcid.org/0000-0002-4349-6179

Associate Professor in the Faculty of Management at AGH University of Science and Technology. PhD in Economics and Management (2005, AGH University of Science and Technology, Krakow, Poland); Her research interests include entrepreneurship, SME management and internationalization, and non-profit management.

Correspondence to: prof. SGH, dr hab. Joanna Duda, Akademia Górniczo-Hutnicza, Wydział Zarządzania, ul. Gramatyka 10, 30-067 Krakow, Poland, e-mail: aduda@zarz.agh.edu.pl


Margarita Dunska 
University of Latvia  Latvia
http://orcid.org/0000-0002-8919-2402

University of Latvia, Faculty of Business, Management and Economics; Dr. in Economics (Dr.oec) (1992, University of Latvia); Professor in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies in Global Economics at the University of Latvia. Her research interests include international business, international finance, macroeconomics, and international economics.

Correspondence to: prof. dr. Margarita Dunska, University of Latvia, Faculty of Business, Management and Economics, Aspazijas bulv.5, LV-1050, Riga, Latvia, e-mail: margarita.dunska@lu.lv






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