The symposium was chaired by Prof. Xiaobo Wu, Director of NIIM and former Dean of School of Management, Zhejiang University and Prof. Danica Purg, President of CEEMAN and Dean of IEDC-Bled School of Management. The symposium was also attended by Prof. Hermann Simon, a German author and business leader, who developed the concept of Hidden Champions.
Hidden Champions are highly successful and innovative, but not very well-known small and medium-sized companies. They are among the global top three in terms of market share in their respective niche or the leader on their continent. Furthermore, the survival rate of Hidden Champions is often significantly higher than the average in their respective sector. Hidden Champions also boast the tendency to be very competitive in their markets and exhibit a consistent growth trajectory as well as an above-average innovation rate. It is because of these fascinating and compelling traits that academia strives to determine why these businesses in particular are thriving.
Prof. Simon’s methodology on Hidden Champions was used in the research project coordinated by CEEMAN and IEDC-Bled School of Management, Postgraduate Studies in the period 2010-2013 when, with the support of 15 research teams, 165 Hidden Champions companies in CEE and Turkey were identified. The results were published in the book “Hidden Champions in CEE and Turkey - Carving Out a Global Niche” edited by Prof. Peter McKiernan and Prof. Danica Purg.
The second research on Hidden Champions, which is led by Dr. Alenka Braček Lalić, CEEMAN IQA Director and Vice-Dean for Research at IEDC-Bled School of Management, Postgraduate Studies, is currently conducted in 24 countries and explores the characteristics of innovative companies operating in Central Europe and South-Eastern Europe, Turkey, Russia and China. The project is supported by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The preliminary results of the study were presented by seven research partners from CEE/SEE representing CEEMAN institutional members at the symposium in China.
The research will be completed by the end of the year 2018 when the results will show the progress that has been done by the Hidden Champions companies identified by CEEMAN and IEDC-Bled School of Management, Postgraduate Studies in 2011. It will also identify new Hidden Champions. In addition, it will present some recommendations for different stakeholders (policymakers, financial institutions, higher education institutions) on what measures to take in order to create a business environment which will help these companies thrive in the future, too.
The results of the research project will be published in a book in the upcoming year. CEEMAN will organize a number of consultation meetings in order to disseminate the research findings.
In the photo: Irina Sennikova (RISEBA University, Latvia), Denis Berberović (University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Economics and Business, Bosnia and Herzegovina), Alenka Braček Lalić (CEEMAN and IEDC-Bled School of Management, Slovenia), Jaroslav Dado (Matej Bel University, Faculty of Economics, Slovakia) Danica Purg (CEEMAN and IEDC-Bled School of Management, Slovenia), Hermann Simon (Simon-Kucher & Partners, Germany), Janka Táborecká-Petrovičová (Matej Bel University, Faculty of Economics, Slovakia), Grażyna Leśniak-Łebkowska (Warsaw School of Economics), Galina Zilgalve (RISEBA University, Latvia), attending the symposium on behalf of CEEMAN. Missing in the photo: Violeta Cvetkoska (Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Faculty of Economics, Macedonia), Anisa Kume (Ministry of Finance and Economy, Albania).