A repositioning organizational knowledge dynamics by functional upgrading and downgrading strategy in global value chain

Veronica Scuotto, Alexeis Garcia-Perez, Chiara Nespoli, Antonio Messeni Petruzzelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This research has been conducted to study the relationship between the repositioning strategy of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the effectiveness of their cross-innovation strategy. In particular, we focus on the organizational knowledge dynamics that drive the functional upgrading and downgrading strategy of the SME, and how these enable the organizations to exploit external paths to market by developing and selling new knowledge.

The strategy and operations of SMEs are often marked by limited resources and a high dependence on others. The scope of their business often gets narrower as they seek to adapt to the dynamics of the new knowledge-intensive context. In their relationship with multinational enterprises (MNEs), SMEs are driven to a continuous specialization of their knowledge and technological resource bases. SMEs then seek to source global knowledge by positioning along a global value chain often driven MNES. In the process, SMEs use organizational knowledge to drive their strategy for functional upgrading or downgrading within the global value chain (GVC). This can, in turn, reveal new opportunities for SMEs to increase their network and find an optimum position in the market. Thus, SMEs are able to leverage on a combination of dynamic and technological capabilities along with high degree of involvement in knowledge management process.

This subject is investigated through the study of 532 European knowledge-intensive SMEs via structural equation modelling. Our findings have relevant implications for policy-makers and managers of SMEs, informing the efforts to employ organizational ambidexterity for their repositioning strategy in the global value chain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)(In-press)
JournalJournal of International Management
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 8 Oct 2020


  • Global value chain
  • Dynamic capabilities
  • SME
  • Knowledge management
  • Innovation Performance
  • Functional upgrading
  • Functional downgrading

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A repositioning organizational knowledge dynamics by functional upgrading and downgrading strategy in global value chain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this