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Resource sharing in interfirm alliances between SMEs and large firms and SME access to finance: A study of Malaysian SMEs

Shaista Wasiuzzaman (Faculty of Management, Multimedia University, Cyberjaya, Malaysia)

Management Research Review

ISSN: 2040-8269

Article publication date: 17 July 2019

Issue publication date: 21 November 2019




This study aims to investigate the role of interfirm alliances in the form of resource sharing in influencing the access to finance of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia. Further, the effect of different forms of resource sharing – tangible and intangible – is also studied.


Survey questionnaire was distributed to 456 SMEs in the manufacturing sector and a total of 146 responses were gathered. However, out of these, only 88 responses could be used as only these SMEs had alliances with large firms. Investigation into the relationship between interfirm alliances and SME access to finance was carried out using structural equation modeling – partial least squares.


It is found that interfirm alliances play a significant positive role in influencing SME access to finance. As interfirm alliances are measured as the extent of resource sharing, further analysis is carried out on the different forms of resource sharing, i.e. tangible and intangible. Tangible resource (asset and cost) sharing significantly influences SME access to finance but intangible resource (knowledge and information) sharing does not.


This study contributes to the understanding of the effects of interfirm alliances on the financing of SMEs. So far, most studies have only focused on the management and technological gains of interfirm alliances. Therefore, this study contributes significantly to literature on resource sharing among firms.



The author would like to thank the anonymous reviewers and the Editor for their constructive feedback which greatly benefited the authors in improving the manuscript.

This research is funded by the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia, under the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS) [grant number FRGS/1/2014/SS05/MMU/02/4].


Wasiuzzaman, S. (2019), "Resource sharing in interfirm alliances between SMEs and large firms and SME access to finance: A study of Malaysian SMEs", Management Research Review, Vol. 42 No. 12, pp. 1375-1399.



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