Sociologie Românească, Vol. IV, no. 1/2006, pp. 5-24.
Întreprinderile mici și mijlocii - considerații istorice și teoretice
Small and medium enterprises historical and theoretical considerations
Oscar Hoffman, Ion Glodeanu
Abstract (Rezumat în limba engleză): The authors present the three stages in SMEs development: 1) the handicraft workshops from the early period of capitalism; 2) the small industrial workshop from the industrial capitalism period; 3) the new stage of SMEs specific to the economy based on knowledge in a consolidation process. The authors analyze the economical and sociological thought concerning the report between the large enterprises and SMEs. The capitalism of mechanical industry had the large enterprises as a main productive unit, with a strong technology (the running belt and standardized high efficiency machines), which could ensure a better competitiveness through the productivity increase and a cost price decrease. In a new phase, the evolution of western society generated a complex process based on the beginning of the knowledge based economy and, on the other side, on major changes in social behaviors and on markets regulation concerning life style sociocultural criterions. In this new context, there is a new phase in front of SMEs: these become the engine of development, ensuring technological innovation transfer in the whole economy, new jobs and many chances to a better living standard for the people. This study offers a multidimensional analyze of the SMEs role and place in present, with major consequences on the possible strategies for Romania, too.