Small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can be defined by the number of people they employ, by their financial performance, or by how they compare with other similar organizations in their field or industry. In the SME literature in the United States, one definition that is often cited is that of the U.S. Small Business Administration. It defines a small business as one that is independently owned and operated, is not dominant in its field of operation, and employs fewer than 500 employees. SMEs are distinct from larger corporations in several ways and play a different role in society; therefore, their reputation management strategies and focus may have to be different and tailored to their own characteristics. This entry first covers the role of SMEs ...

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