The purpose is to show the interconnections between the management style of an internationally expanding company and the pattern of its network connections, while incorporating the company size and corporate traditions as secondary determinants.
The paper uses multiple case study analysis. Included case studies characterise the various management attitudes of Estonian companies in engaging in international inter‐company relationships. To allow for the generalisation of results, the cases analyse the companies from several sectors and size groups.
Research concludes that the decision to participate in an international network could be made either because of socio‐economic circumstances or as the innovative entrepreneurial choice toward more rapid expansion. Thus, the paper views certain decisions of a company about its relationships with other agents, including suppliers and competitors, as entrepreneurial choices made by its general management. This research also categorises these choices as irreversible and temporary and positions company size and traditions as secondary factors, besides management style, which are important in determining the usage of relational support.
The case study analysis might fail to illuminate the most archetypical features that could be generalized to all similar companies. Thus, one should exercise extreme caution when generalizing given results. In the case of qualitative research, the danger of misinterpretation of facts or events is bigger than in the case of quantitative research. The methodological variations make it more difficult to bring in cause and effect patterns.
These results imply the role and authority of an entrepreneur not only in multinational or ownership‐based networks but also in solely relational networks. This issue at present is not the subject of the research focus. The managers should also increasingly account for the impact of entrepreneurial management style in the corporate setting of takeovers and partnerships. Thus, innovative choices might achieve an increasingly important role in the formation of industrial networks.
This paper establishes the position of entrepreneurial management style as a determinant of partnership contacts, while controlling for company size and its management traditions. It offers case evidence about this entrepreneur‐led relationship building in Estonian companies.
Roolaht, T. (2006), "The company's involvement in international networks as an entrepreneurial decision", Baltic Journal of Management, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 102-115. https://doi.org/10.1108/17465260610640903Download as .RIS
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