The 2020 opened with an exceptional and global pandemia. Data on Covid-19 have been presented in many studies and across media. A large amount of academic debates analyse the ongoing contagious disease and the real effects on the population, in the businesses and in the countries. The aim of this study is to present a scoping literature review focused on the Covid-19 crisis and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). During crisis, SMEs generally appear more vulnerable than large enterprises. Specifically, the review analyses the literature published within October 2021 in order to provide an overview of how scholars analyse the phenomenon principally in terms of topics, journals, authors, countries of analysis and methods. Researchers searched in Scopus, Web of Science and Business Source Premier databases the keywords “Covid-19” or “Pandemi*” or “Epidem*”, and “Small and medium sized firm” or “SME” or “small business” or “small and medium firm” or “entrepreneur*”. After the due eliminations the resulted sample collected 784 papers. Using MS Excel, researchers manually code data and trace an overview about the evolutionary trends in the field. In a second phase, researchers analysed only the papers (235) published on the ABSranked journals. Adopting the broader view (784 results), a quarter of studies receive funds for the analysis, 10% have been published in special issues and around 70% reaches journal outside the ABS ranking. Analysing only papers published in the ABS journals (235 papers), the review shows that quantitative research is the most widely used method for exploring Covid-19 and SMEs. While the quantitative and qualitative analysis cross many countries, the most analysed geographical contexts are located in Asia (China and India) and Europe (e.g. UK, Italy). In terms of topics, 20 key words clusters emerge, 6 contain general key words and 14 group specific key words (i.e. economic impact and business survival, strategies, entrepreneur/entrepreneurship, digital/BI, finance, policy/regulation, innovation, gender, collaboration/engagement, sustainability, employee management, consumer/customer, individual impact, discrimination). Despite the eight literature reviews published about SMEs and Covid-19, there is not a broad overview of topics on SMEs and entrepreneurship developed since the earliest signs of Covid-19 to date. In fact, all the existing reviews adopt a specific focus from technologies for SMEs to finance, female entrepreneurs and tactics and strategies to overcome the situation. Thus, we can contribute to the literature describing all that has been studied and highlighting the topics, issues and a future research agenda.

(2022). An overview of the early research on Covid-19 and SMEs . In PICCOLA IMPRESA. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10446/228251

An overview of the early research on Covid-19 and SMEs

Bassani, Gaia;
2022

Abstract

The 2020 opened with an exceptional and global pandemia. Data on Covid-19 have been presented in many studies and across media. A large amount of academic debates analyse the ongoing contagious disease and the real effects on the population, in the businesses and in the countries. The aim of this study is to present a scoping literature review focused on the Covid-19 crisis and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). During crisis, SMEs generally appear more vulnerable than large enterprises. Specifically, the review analyses the literature published within October 2021 in order to provide an overview of how scholars analyse the phenomenon principally in terms of topics, journals, authors, countries of analysis and methods. Researchers searched in Scopus, Web of Science and Business Source Premier databases the keywords “Covid-19” or “Pandemi*” or “Epidem*”, and “Small and medium sized firm” or “SME” or “small business” or “small and medium firm” or “entrepreneur*”. After the due eliminations the resulted sample collected 784 papers. Using MS Excel, researchers manually code data and trace an overview about the evolutionary trends in the field. In a second phase, researchers analysed only the papers (235) published on the ABSranked journals. Adopting the broader view (784 results), a quarter of studies receive funds for the analysis, 10% have been published in special issues and around 70% reaches journal outside the ABS ranking. Analysing only papers published in the ABS journals (235 papers), the review shows that quantitative research is the most widely used method for exploring Covid-19 and SMEs. While the quantitative and qualitative analysis cross many countries, the most analysed geographical contexts are located in Asia (China and India) and Europe (e.g. UK, Italy). In terms of topics, 20 key words clusters emerge, 6 contain general key words and 14 group specific key words (i.e. economic impact and business survival, strategies, entrepreneur/entrepreneurship, digital/BI, finance, policy/regulation, innovation, gender, collaboration/engagement, sustainability, employee management, consumer/customer, individual impact, discrimination). Despite the eight literature reviews published about SMEs and Covid-19, there is not a broad overview of topics on SMEs and entrepreneurship developed since the earliest signs of Covid-19 to date. In fact, all the existing reviews adopt a specific focus from technologies for SMEs to finance, female entrepreneurs and tactics and strategies to overcome the situation. Thus, we can contribute to the literature describing all that has been studied and highlighting the topics, issues and a future research agenda.
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