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Paper info: Beyond Networking: A Case Study Of Rigorous Cooperation Among Sme's

Title


Beyond Networking: A Case Study Of Rigorous Cooperation Among Sme's

Authors


George Tesar, Hakan Bohman and Hakan Boter

Place of Publication


The paper was published at the 19th IMP-conference in Lugano, Switzerland in 2003.

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Abstract


This paper examines how a group of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can work together to form a network designed to meet the demands and challenges from large domestic and international customers. The case study is longitudinal and describes an actual network established in northern Sweden in the mid-90s. It follows a complete development and structuring of a network that provided a base for commercial activities. Analysis show that the process to develop networks among small firms seems to rely to different role models at different development stages. Archetypes of the different process drivers were found and labeled ?vision catcher?, ?mediator?, and ?constructor?. Corresponding network phases were also found and defined as stages of ?discovery?, ?design?, and ?development?. With the guidance of the case study combined with theoretical considerations a number of propositions were formulated. Key words: Networking, network development, SMEs, entrepreneurship, competence development, strategic competitive advantage, trust building.