Nature and Scope of the Symposium

Developing countries can’t rely on multinational or large corporations for economic growth. As in the Western countries, the most important component of the economic system is made of small and medium businesses (SMEs), both in terms of number of companies and employees. Though most SME enterprises are not run by rich people they can still create jobs for themselves and for others. However, for many people successfully navigating an SME will be a major challenge. While SMEs have the potential to become a core element of an economic system, their small size, their lack of specialized managers, their focus on the technical process (usually very labor intensive) can limit their ability to compete in the “market”. Another potential enemy of SMEs is a matter of defining the market itself. SMEs are no longer compete with their physical neighbors, but they have to compete with unknown and unlimited competitors spread worldwide. Besides managerial skills, most of the SMEs lack marketing skill and it is more common among SMEs that focus on international tourism and other services.

SMEs in developed countries also face similar problems, especially in the early stages of the start-ups. Enterprises use different models to overcome the limitations and make them successful. In developing countries, SMEs use networks with centralized services, especially the government agencies which provide education, training and mentoring and a certain level of marketing and managerial services; besides, banks and funding agencies also assist in making startups and SMEs sustainable. But do these approaches strengthen SMEs and enable them to become competitive? How far are these approaches helpful for SMEs based in emerging markets in making them competitive and sustainable? Can university researchers come up with better proposals for SMEs in emerging markets?

Competitiveness and innovation are the two key factors that would determine SMEs’ success in current business environment. Innovation in enterprise management systems which includes technology, design and development, business models and management. To become more competitive, it is imperative for SMEs to actively manage knowledge as well as other intangible assets like brand reputation, customers experience and market expectations. Therefore, the 6th symposium will focus on competitiveness and innovation of enterprise development and SMEs in Emerging Markets, especially firms engaged in tourism and services marketing. We welcome scholars from the academia, entrepreneurs, government agencies, and professional associations to submit research manuscripts, case studies and corporate experiences and proposal for panel sessions; We call for both technical and practical contributions that would advance the theory and practice for entrepreneurship and SMEs management. Some of the suggested topics are as follows:

  • Issues in assessing the company management quality
  • How to draft government subsidies to improve SMEs competitiveness
  • SMEs associations; SMEs networks; Networking and System Governance for SME Competitiveness
  • Use of market-asset based metrics to assess brand equity in emerging markets
  • Customer perceived value, brand image, and brand equity in emerging markets
  • Characteristics of brand adoption behavior of customers in emerging markets
  • Integration of online and offline communication/channels and impact on the competitiveness of SMEs
  • Brand community and building customer loyalty programs in emerging markets
  • Rethinking retail marketing for emerging markets
  • Territorial identity & internationalization of SME products and services
  • Potential effect of country-of-origin versus localization of production on competitiveness
  • Use of national identity and cultural heritage to introduce goods/service in global markets
  • Engagement of customers to co-create the values of goods/services to share knowledge in emerging markets?
  • Tourism product internationalization strategies; Successful business models in tourism
  • Use of external partners in developing and implementing competitiveness-related activities in emerging markets
  • Efficacy of social media in promoting brand perception, brand knowledge, brand evaluation and developing customer relationships
  • Typology of management capabilities/skills relevant for the development of SME competitiveness strategies
  • Relationship between the process of internationalization of local firms and the development of global brands
  • The organizational processes that help achieve maximum competitiveness levels for SMEs in emerging markets



Host Coordinator

Antonio Usai, Department of Economics and Business, University of Sassari

SGBED Coordinators

  • Jayachandran, School of Business, Montclair State University, President, SGBED
  • Samir Ranjan Chatterjee, Curtin University & Chair, Board of Governors, SGBED
  • Sherriff Ting Kwong LUK, School of Marketing and Logistics Management, Nanjing University of Finance & Economics, co-founder SGBED
  • Silvio Cardinali, Department of Management, Politecnica delle Marche University, Vice-President SGBED

Conference Organizing Committee  

  • Chair: Francesco Morandi, Department of Economics and Business, University of Sassari
  • Vice Chair: Antonio Usai, Department of Economics and Business, University of Sassari
  • Daniele Porcheddu, Department of Economics and Business, University of Sassari


  • Manlio Del Giudice, Department of Management, Link Campus, Italy
  • Han Shen (Hannah), Tourism Department, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
  • Shlomo Y. Tarba, Department of strategy and international business, University of Birmingham
  • Piyush Sharma, Curtin University (Australia) and Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • Ramon Noguera, EADA School of Business, Barcelona, Spain
  • Vishnuprasad Nagadevara, Emeritus Professor, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, India
  • Vesa Routamaa, Emeritus Professor, University of Vaasa, Finland
  • Sherriff T.K Luk, School of Marketing and Logistics Management, Nanjing University of Finance & Economics, China
  • Nitin Sanghavi, Manchester Business School, UK
  • Vasant H. Raval, Heider College of Business, Creighton University, USA
  • Jose Sanchez Gutierrez, Department of Marketing, University of Guadalajara, Mexico
  • Harald Kupfer, FOM University, Germany
  • Johan de Jager, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
  • Pawel Kawa, Cracow School of Banking and Management, Poland
  • Antonio Picciotti, Department of management, University of Perugia
  • Francesca Cabiddu, Department of Business Management, University of Cagliari, Italy
  • Maria Vincenza Ciasullo, Department of Management & information Systems, University of Salerno, Italy

Abstract and Paper Submissions

Abstracts should not exceed 250 words and should clearly define the topic, academic and/or management contributions and indicate the presenting author. All abstracts should be submitted no later than September 4th, 2017. Notification of acceptance will be from August 16th  to September 10th , 2017. Once the abstract is accepted, the author(s) should submit the final paper on or before September 19th, 2017. The length of a full paper should not exceed 8000 words (max 15 pages – see the guidelines for the Authors). The presenting author of an accepted paper must register for the symposium and pay the registration fee no later than September 25th, 2017.

Authors can submit abstracts and the full paper to either the Symposium Coordinator: Dr Antonio Usai (  and .  Each abstract must include contact information for all authors: full name, affiliation, e-mail address and correspondence address.

At least one author of the paper should register for the symposium and present the paper at the Symposium.

Find here your regional coordinator

Pubblication opportunity and special issue

All accepted papers and abstracts will be published in the Book of Proceedings. A selection of the best conference papers will also be considered for publication in the following journals (presented in alphabetic order), most of which are internationally ranked or/and ISI/Scopus approved. Some of these journals will devote and publish a special issue based on conference papers


Early Registration: August 25th, 2017

150 / Early Registration: August 25th, 2017

  • CD
  • Welcome Dinner
  • Lunch
  • Tea-break
  • City tour

100 / Early Registration: August 25th, 2017

  • CD
  • Welcome Dinner
  • Lunch
  • Tea-break
  • City tour

Regular Registration: August 26th – September 25th, 2017

200 / Regular Registration: August 26th – September 25th, 2017

  • CD
  • Welcome Dinner
  • Lunch
  • Tea-break
  • City tour

150 / Regular Registration: August 26th – September 25th, 2017

  • CD
  • Welcome Dinner
  • Lunch
  • Tea-break
  • City tour

All payments have to be made to the Department of Economics and Business, University of Sassari

Admission fees (based on the table) must be paid on the following bank accounts:

  1. For Italian Public Administrations that must comply to “Tesoreria Unica” rules, fees must be paid by “girofondo” on the Contabilità Speciale dell’Università degli Studi di Sassari account number 0034835 without referring to the IBAN code;
  2. Citizens and all EU/not EU legal entities fees must be paid by bank transfer on the bank account under the name of “Università degli Studi di Sassari” at Banco di Sardegna IBAN code IT96F0101517201000000013500.

The reason for payment must have “Name and Surname – quota di iscrizione al SGBED – The 6th  International Research Symposium (2017), Olbia, Sardinia, Italy”

Please, the copy of the bank transfer should be sent immediately to the email

Whole refund, if requested on or before September 22nd, 2017. No refund after that date. Refund payment will be charged by a deduction of EURO 100.00 for administrative costs.

At least one of the authors of an accepted paper must register by September 21st, 2017, to include the paper in the program and in conference proceedings.


Overview of the Deadlines

July 26th, 2017

Symposium registration opens

September 4th, 2017

Submission deadline for abstracts

AUGUST 16TH, 2017 - SEPTEMBER 10TH, 2017

Acceptance notification for abstracts (it dipend the date to arrive the abstracts)

September 19th, 2017

Last date for submission of final papers

September 25th, 2017

Last date for registration

October 4 & 5 & 6, 2017

Symposium date


Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (after Sicily and before Cyprus) and an autonomous region of Italy. The coasts of Sardinia (1,849 kilometres long) are generally high and rocky, with long, relatively straight stretches of coastline, many outstanding headlands, a few wide, deep bays, rias, many inlets and with various smaller islands off the coast.

The sea reigns over this region with its colors that migrate into the coves, along the coasts, towards the beaches and the most popular resorts. An example is the Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast) with Porto Cervo set as its gemstone and uniting the history and culture of ancient traditions with a joyful and colourful nightlife. 

Among its wonders, Sardinia offers the visitor the Nuragic complexes scattered all over the territory. These monuments are unique to the world, testifying to an ancient culture that – though it endured from the 16th to 15th Centuries B.C. still rains rather mysterious. 


Sardinia has a unique combination of climate, beautiful sceneries, language, customs and traditions, an island to discover and love, that weaves deep ties, almost inseparable, with its inhabitants and its hosts. Tourists can enjoy nearly 2 thousand kilometres of coastline that opens into white beaches and clear blue sea and lead toward the inside, in sceneries made of mountains, plateaus and valleys with forests, rivers, waterfalls and lakes. Besides an unrivalled variety of tourist attractions, Sardinia is known for Archaeological and historical monuments, traditional festivities and festivals, good food and wellness, sports and leisure. Unique places, landscapes and events having their own soul capable of arousing feelings and emotions.

Unspoiled landscapes with five national parks and five marine areas comprising more than one hundred thousand hectares of natural reserves with plenty of opportunities for itineraries in- land, coastline and off-shore. Boat tours, snorkeling and diving in breathtaking backdrops, populated by swarms of confident fishes, from Capo Caccia (Alghero) to Asinara (SS), from the archipelago of La Maddalena to Tavolara and Ca- po Coda Cavallo (in Gallura), from Capo Carbonara Villasimius (CA) to the Sinai Peninsula and the island of Mal di Ventre (OR).

Sardinia is a true open park area where you can practice all year every kind of outdoor sport. The island is a unique combination of mild weather, beauty and variety of landscapes combined. Its population warm hospitality, custodian of ancient traditions, makes Sardinia the ideal place for active tourism. It is the perfect land for travellers who want to enjoy their holiday and practice any sport in unique and often untouched locations. Sardinia is ideal for tourists who love to interact with the nature and for any kind of visitor looking for a cultural and spiritual enrichment. If you love the sea you will adore diving in crystal clear waters and breathtaking backdrops for snorkelling, diving or fishing. If you prefer sea surface sports, you will love flying above water surface on surf- boards or dragged by Kite’s sails over majestic waves taking advantage of the famous Sardinian winds. Instead of water adventures, if you prefer something more relaxing you may choose canoe and kayak, or a trip on a sailing boat. Once back on shore you can enjoy the white sand of Sardinia beaches and the most classics beach sports: volley- ball, soccer and tennis. Sardinia is sea and beyond. It means trekking and Nordic walking to reach magnificent coves,

The extremely high concentration of long-living people, especially in certain areas of Sardinia, has attracted the attention of the international scientific community. Research carried out by various scholars tends to demonstrate the correlation between lifestyles, diet and longevity: along with genetic predisposition, the combination of environmental, anthropological and cultural factors that characterize Sardinia are the key to ‘successful aging’. People live better and longer on the Island, compared to the Italian and European average. It is no coincidence that the territory of Ogliastra is one of the world’s five ‘blue zones’, areas in which the percentage of centenarians and ninety-year-olds in good health and still active is higher than in the bordering territories. 

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If you seek the pure and famous Sardinian sea, you’re in the right place; you’ll be spoiled for choice between splendid Pittulongu Beach and the heavenly waters of turquoise coves overlooking the coast. Boasting an enviable sea front location, Poltu Quadu is located south of the city center in one of the most desirable districts.

“Olbìa” is Greek for “happy city”; this town overlooks the spectacular bay by the same name surrounding the Tavolara – Punta Coda Cavallo Protected Marine Area and is the gateway to world renowned Emerald Coast thanks to its airport and tourist port.


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The Polo Universitario di Olbia is the branch of the Department of Economic and Business Sciences of the University of Sassari. It was opened in 2002 with degree course in Economics and Management in Tourism. Since September 2003 has its headquarters in Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport. Interestingly, that it’s the one and only public university in the world situated in the Terminal of International Airport. Nowadays Polo Universitario offer to students the degree course in Economics and tourism management and the Master of Science in Business Administration of Tourism.


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**** Hotel

- Double Tree by Hilton
( 67,00€ Per day, double room for single use, breakfast included )
( 87,00€ Per day, double room, breakfast included )

**** Hotel

- Hotel Centrale Olbia
( 44,00€ Per day, single room )
( 64,00€ Per day, double room for single use )
( 74,00€ Per day, double room )

**** Hotel

- Hotel Mercure Olbia
( 90,00€ Per day, double room single use )
( 100,00€ Per day, double room )

*** Hotel

- Hotel Cavour Olbia
( 44,00€ Per day, single room )
( 60,00€ Per day, double room )

The proposed special rates are valid for overnights between October 3rd and October 8th (check out October 9th). Rooms can be booked at any moment even last minute upon hotel availability.

Participants must refer clearly that they are taking part to “The 6th International Research Symposium (2017)” . On the contrary, Hotel staff could apply market rates available at the booking moment. Special rates will be applied only for reservations received by phones, email or personally in the hotel. Special rates can’t be applied for reservations made through external websites or tourist agencies.