We develop a taxonomy of small to medium size firms (SMEs) to better define and classify them. We exploit a large-scale database built in the Rhône-Alpes region in France. This study is motivated by the enormous diversity of SMEs and the existence of numerous definitions, used for multiple uses, without either of them really emerging. This is an issue for research proposing relevant advances in knowledge of SMEs. We seek to build a taxonomy of SMEs based on factorial and cluster analyzes classifying SMEs according to their situation. We thus seek to lower the incontestable heterogeneity of SMEs, in order to identify a small number of SME archetypes. Our study identifies 7 categories of SMEs grouped by similarity of behavior and strategic situation. For each of these clusters we analyze a characteristic firm, which can be identified as an archetype. This approach should be more realistic and in particular enable policymakers to better adapt their efforts to support SMEs. It should also allow for greater precision in research conducted on SMEs.
|Translated title of the contribution||Public policies in the face of the diversity of SMEs: the contributions of a taxonomic approach in Rhone-Alpes|
|Journal||Revue internationale PME|
|Publication status||Published - 10 Jul 2018|