SMEs’ dynamic learning capabilities in international public procurement
The aim of this research is to contribute to the limited existing research on the subject of SME access to international procurement by analysing whether the dynamic capabilities of learning and knowledge management would allow SMEs to overcome the internal and external barriers of the international public procurement market. By means of CAQDAS software and in-depth interviews with management-level executives responsible for international procurement, the authors analysed the barriers faced by Spanish firms in the public procurement market, and studied the dynamic capabilities developed to overcome those barriers. Results show that SMEs develop dynamic learning and knowledge management skills and that these are embodied in knowledge acquisition and transformation capabilities. The authors provide SMEs with ideas not only about the learning and knowledge capabilities required in the international public procurement market, but also about the key barriers they may find. Moreover, suggestions for public administration are also provided. The value of the paper is twofold, on one hand, the paper tackles the problems of the market barriers in international public procurement from the perspective of how SMEs can overcome them. On the other, it is the first time that research integrates these two areas of analysis i.e. international public procurement and barriers overcome by dynamic capabilities.