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Research on business networks in organisationally thin regions, which are characterised by a low density and quality of business networks, is still in its infancy, while…
Research on business networks in organisationally thin regions, which are characterised by a low density and quality of business networks, is still in its infancy, while the facilitation of business networks receives increasing interest. The present paper combines both perspectives by investigating how different types of network brokers facilitate business networking and knowledge-sharing in organisationally thin regions.
Burt's theory on brokers in social networks is applied to knowledge-sharing in business networks for organisational thinness as context. A qualitative case study represents the empirical basis that describes network brokers from various domains in three different German case regions, which are characterised by organisational thinness.
The network brokers studied facilitate different types of business networks, and they use various levers to increase knowledge-sharing among companies in business networks. Two broker types emerge, private business-driven versus public policy-driven network brokers with distinct approaches to the facilitation of business networking and knowledge-sharing and different limitations due to organisational thinness.
Companies, notably SMEs, in contexts characterised by low networking density and quality may benefit from various types of network brokers that foster business networking and instigate knowledge exchange. Public policy should embed activities of private brokers in existing SME assistance programmes to increase the quantity and quality of business networks.
Network facilitation in regions with weaknesses in their endowment with industry clusters, business networks and innovative knowledge exchange is under-explored, and this paper contributes to shedding light on this topic with a case study.
This paper aims to discuss business incubation to enter foreign markets in Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) countries through the lens of an “international business…
This paper aims to discuss business incubation to enter foreign markets in Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) countries through the lens of an “international business incubator” (IBI). International market expansion offers huge opportunities for companies to increase their revenue, but there are also challenging tasks such as the establishment of a business company and the occupation of a strategic position abroad. Practitioners consider this process as the act of incubation, but the theoretical discussion lags behind the practice-led debate.
An illustrative, and theory-led, case study is presented that describes market expansion to BRIC countries through a network-based IBI. The empirical case is an illustrative Danish company with international operations in BRIC countries both with and without an IBI.
International business incubation represents a process, which can be influenced through an IBI, and business networking during foreign market entry is shaped by IBI brokerage (bridging, bonding and protecting) in different phases. IBI activities that are embedded in business networking support a company’s endeavours in getting a foothold and acquiring a strategic position in BRIC markets and facilitates the market penetration.
The IBI’s activities to enter foreign markets should be thoroughly managed. Further studies should be conducted with cross-case comparisons and larger samples to reflect on the propositions established.
By linking the business networking theory with the practice-led understanding of business incubation, the study explores an under-conceptualised topic for international business and entrepreneurship scholars. The paper offers an initial understanding of how brokerage interacts with incubation during the entry of new markets.
Social capital plays an important role in transforming knowledge within and across inter-firm business networks in industries. The purpose of this paper is to explore…
Social capital plays an important role in transforming knowledge within and across inter-firm business networks in industries. The purpose of this paper is to explore different kinds of transfer mechanism such as “bonding,” “bridging,” and “protecting” within a case network of the Danish offshore windmill industry. Its aim is to describe how these mechanisms interactively support value co-creation among the involved enterprises and how social capital, residing in the relationships between actors from the firms, is influenced by the different transfer mechanisms.
Based upon a single case study, the paper demonstrates “bonding,” “bridging,” and “protecting” as distinct, yet related, mechanisms for inter-firm business networking. The sample used covers selected key actors from the network as well as third-party experts from the Danish windmill industry, which together represent the most important knowledge-offering and knowledge-demanding domains.
Activities associated with “bridging” and “bonding” clearly matter for creating value for the business network and the industry alike, as they are supportive of strategic capability development (for instance, high-skilled work). While producers and supply companies apply such “bridging,” “bonding,” and additional “protecting” mechanisms based upon their predominant position, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), however, need to shape teams to do so. A major finding of the study is, thus, that team-based interrelationships among SMEs activate “bridging,” “bonding.” and “protecting” initiatives which are particularly supportive of capability improvement and industry growth. They enable the transfer of relevant capabilities between different projects where actors within SMEs organizations learn to activate and use such knowledge transfer mechanisms. Moreover, asymmetrical dependency-relationships can be partly overcome by shaping and using the mechanisms on the part of SMEs in the network.
To date, brokerage is still an under-explored topic with regard to inter-firm business networks. This case study contributes to the research by illustrating important and distinct qualitative aspects of brokerage, which are conceptualized as “bonding,” “bridging,” and “protecting” initiatives on the part of brokers. The study highlights that not only strong actors with central positions can step into the role as a broker. Even less resourceful actors within asymmetrical relations can act as broker and compensate a lack of resources or strengthen their position within the industry network. Consequently, value co-creating processes within industry networks can also be boosted by brokerage initiated by small companies.