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Greek hidden champions:: lessons from small, little-known firms in Greece


  • Voudouris, Irini
  • Lioukas, Spyros
  • Makridakis, Spyros
  • Spanos, Yiannis


The purpose of the research described in this paper is to first identify successful Greek SMEs that can be qualified as `hidden champions' and second to uncover the factors that have contributed to their success. These factors relate to their choice of markets served, their relationships with customers and suppliers, innovative behavior, leadership and human resources management practices. The findings suggest that four overall themes or `recipes' may explain the success of these firms: (a) intense specialization in narrowly defined market segments, (b) commitment to customer service, (c) innovative culture and adaptation to new technologies, and (d) strong leadership and a healthy organizational climate.

Suggested Citation

  • Voudouris, Irini & Lioukas, Spyros & Makridakis, Spyros & Spanos, Yiannis, 2000. "Greek hidden champions:: lessons from small, little-known firms in Greece," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 663-674, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eurman:v:18:y:2000:i:6:p:663-674

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:pab:rmcpee:v:24:y:2018:i:1:p:190-208 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Spanos, Yiannis E. & Voudouris, Irini, 2009. "Antecedents and trajectories of AMT adoption: The case of Greek manufacturing SMEs," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 144-155, February.
    3. Schlepphorst, Susanne & Schlömer-Laufen, Nadine & Holz, Michael, 2016. "Determinants of hidden champions: Evidence from Germany," Working Papers 03/16, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) Bonn.
    4. Suh, Yongyoon & Kim, Moon-Soo, 2014. "Internationally leading SMEs vs. internationalized SMEs: Evidence of success factors from South Korea," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 115-129.
    5. repec:ers:ijebaa:v:iv:y:2016:i:2:p:41-52 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Dimitratos, Pavlos & Petrou, Andreas & Plakoyiannaki, Emmanuella & Johnson, Jeffrey E., 2011. "Strategic decision-making processes in internationalization: Does national culture of the focal firm matter?," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 194-204, April.
    7. Rammer, Christian & Spielkamp, Alfred, 2015. "Hidden Champions - Driven by Innovation: Empirische Befunde auf Basis des Mannheimer Innovationspanels," ZEW Dokumentationen 15-03, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    8. Nelson Duarte, 2013. "Entrepreneurship and Local Sustainability: Is There any Relation? A Case Study in the Region Vale do Sousa," International Journal of Economics & Business Administration (IJEBA), International Journal of Economics & Business Administration (IJEBA), vol. 0(4), pages 93-116.
    9. WooJin KIM, 2016. "Structural Features and Mechanisms of The Korean Powerhouses: What Makes These Niche Companies Leaders in The Global Market?," Journal of Economics and Political Economy, KSP Journals, vol. 3(2), pages 284-308, June.
    10. Deligianni, Ioanna & Voudouris, Irini & Lioukas, Spyros, 2015. "Growth paths of small technology firms: The effects of different knowledge types over time," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 491-504.


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