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Paper info: Building and Sustaining International Business Networks in the Baltic Sea Region. -A Comparison of Small and Medium-sized Exporters from Emerging and Mature European Markets

Title


Building and Sustaining International Business Networks in the Baltic Sea Region. -A Comparison of Small and Medium-sized Exporters from Emerging and Mature European Markets

Authors


hans Jansson and Mikael Hilmersson

Place of Publication


The paper was published at the 24th IMP-conference in Uppsala, Sweden in 2008.

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Abstract


This paper focuses on the internationalization of small- and medium sized enterprises from a business marketing point of view. The building and sustainment of international business networks is studied in the Baltic Sea Region involving exporters from both mature and emerging markets. The paper reports on research conducted between 2004 and 2007 with researchers participating from eight countries in this region. The study encompasses eight exporters and their importers. The research contributes to international process theory by developing the network aspect of the entry node, the entry process, and the entry mode. One major result is that the exporter's entry process changes character so that the exporter participates in three major types of networks. Initially, there is the exposure network consisting of many weak information and social ties. This social network is closing in the formation network, where the ties are becoming stronger and social trust develops. In the sustenance network, relationships become more permanent and integrated into the firms regular business. The organization-based network takes over, becoming a precedent to the social network. The entry mode varies over the entry process, being a result of what kind of hub that the exporter uses during the different networks.