HOW DO FIRMS IN STRATEGIC SME NETWORKS BUILD COMPETITIVENESS?
This study attempts to improve the present understanding of how firms build competitiveness in strategic SME networks. In particular, it empirically tests and identifies patterns among potentially important factors as mentioned in prior literature and suggests propositions as potential providers for middle-range theorizing. Using data from a population of 54 firms, influences of firm-related factors, partner-related factors, and inter-firm relation factors on competitive outcomes (i.e., organizational entrepreneurship, resource contributions to the network entity, and direct firm performance effects) were identified by using path analysis techniques. Findings suggest all factors are influential, but effects are seldom direct. Based on the results from path analysis and interviews with CEOs in the firms studied, a number of propositions are offered for future middle-range theorizing in this domain. Implications for policy and practice are suggested.
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