کسب دانش و آموزش در شرکت های کوچک و متوسط هلند و بلژیک :: نقش اتحادهای استراتژیکی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|15101||2004||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : European Management Journal, Volume 22, Issue 6, December 2004, Pages 685–692
Knowledge-based activities are at the basis of sustainable competitive advantage in today’s economy. Resource- and knowledge-based theorists claim that firms should focus on the creation and accumulation of knowledge-based competencies in order to yield long-term survival. For SMEs, this can be a difficult task as their characteristics often hamper the leverage of the required competencies. This paper focuses on the role strategic alliances can fulfil within the knowledge acquisition and learning processes of SMEs. The empirical findings indicate that only a limited number of SMEs is involved in strategic ‘knowledge-sharing’ alliances. Several entrepreneurs do not cooperate because they fear transferring their know-how and losing their competitive advantage. However, SMEs involvement in strategic alliances resulted in improved firm performance.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurial companies operating in today’s knowledge-based society face new strategic challenges. Entrepreneurs have to deal with issues of knowledge acquisition and should be able to find a balance between exploitation and exploration activities (March, 1991 and Koza and Lewin, 2000). Moreover, SMEs’ performance can improve if they adopt a more active learning orientation (Sadler-Smith et al., 2001). However, for a large group of SMEs, adapting organizational routines within the perspective of knowledge-based competition is a major problem. According to Nooteboom (1994), SME characteristics often hamper the identification and leverage of resources and competencies needed within the organization in order to yield new opportunities. Within the academic literature, alliances and networks are presented as viable development options to compensate for internal knowledge deficiencies. These co-operative agreements provide opportunities for knowledge acquisition (Mothe and Quélin, 2000, George et al., 2001 and Soekijad and Andriessen, 2003), knowledge access (Grant and Baden-Fuller, 2004) and learning (Simonin, 1997, Inkpen, 1998 and Larsson et al., 1998). To date, however, little is known about the importance of alliances in the context of knowledge acquisition and learning in SMEs. Our research contributes to the scientific SME literature by investigating if SMEs are involved in cooperative agreements, and if these relationships are used to access or acquire additional knowledge, and as such, to learn from their alliance partners. This article proceeds as follows. First, the requirements to effectively compete in a knowledge-based economy are described, as well as the major problems SMEs face in this context. Next, we discuss the role alliances and networks can fulfil in acquiring complementary knowledge and in stimulating the learning orientation of a firm. Then, the research design is discussed, followed by a presentation of the empirical findings. The article concludes with a discussion of the results.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper studied the importance of knowledge acquisition and learning within SMEs’ alliance relationships. Although our analysis highlights that the number of cooperative relationships encountered amongst the SMEs was rather high, only a limited number of these agreements were used to exchange or acquire additional knowledge. Several entrepreneurs did not wish to cooperate because they feared transferring their know-how and losing their competitive advantage. However, the entrepreneurs engaged in strategic knowledge-sharing alliances indicated several positive effects of these relationships (increased turnover, higher profits and extension of their product range). These results confirm earlier research findings (Liao et al., 2003) that emphasized the advantages of strategic alliances for SMEs. As in other studies (Hagedoorn, 1993) this research project also confirms that strategic alliances are more important within environments in which technology is fast changing. Based on this empirical study, the authors have to conclude that entrepreneurs should become more aware of the importance of knowledge-based competencies in today’s economic environment. Strategic alliances can help them to acquire those competencies to guarantee long-term survival. Although some entrepreneurs were involved in strategic knowledge-sharing alliances, most of these alliances were initiated within the vision of strategy as searching for a fit, and not of strategy as searching for a stretch. More specifically, the alliances fitted best in the strategy view of industrial organization based strategy, in which firms try to adapt themselves to their environment. The largest group of knowledge-sharing alliances was initiated to sustain client satisfaction. In our opinion, SME-entrepreneurs did neglect the possibilities strategic alliances could offer in strengthening the core competencies of the firm. Instead of making themselves over-dependant on their clients, they should learn to focus on the creation of knowledge-based competencies and capabilities that result in the development of a sustainable competitive advantage.