تسهیل ارتباط بین شعبه های چند ملیتی و شرکتهای های کوچک و متوسط:ابتکار عمل فناوری و همکاری اسکاتلندی(STAC)
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|16922||2006||16 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Business Review, Volume 15, Issue 5, October 2006, Pages 447–462
Multinational subsidiaries constitute a potential source of social capital for SMEs that can help in the internationalisation process. Such social capital is particularly valuable because it is a form of bridging (socially heterogeneous), rather than bonding (socially homogenous), social capital, and therefore could potentially lead to new information, ideas and opportunities. However, even in the best situations, limits on information exchange and trust hamper collaboration between SMEs and MNC subsidiaries. Facilitation by a neutral agency may help to overcome these barriers. This paper presents the case of the Scottish Technology and Collaboration (STAC) initiative as an illustration of the facilitation process—comprising architecting, brokering and coaching—and its outcomes, chiefly the formation of social capital, which in turn has the potential to lead to knowledge outcomes and ultimately internationalisation for the SME. This case reveals important implications for both policy and theories of SME internationalisation, especially the need to recognize and lever under-utilized sources of social capital.
The phenomenon of “born globals” and more generally the pace and pattern of internationalisation by SMEs is an important topic at the intersection of research in entrepreneurship (Zahra & George, 2002a), international business (Dimitratos & Jones, 2005) and strategy (Hitt, Ireland, Camp, & Sexton, 2001). Of importance in the international entrepreneurship literature is the notion of accessing resources through social capital in networks of relationships (e.g., Johanson & Mattsson, 1988; McNaughton & Bell, 1999). Indeed, social capital is frequently cited as playing a role in both knowledge creation (Eriksson & Chetty, 2003) and accessing international markets (Yli-Renko, Autio, & Tontti, 2002), especially in the context of knowledge-intensive sectors (Sharma & Blomstermo, 2003). A limitation of the extant literature is that sources of social capital have received little attention. Different sources may yield different types of social capital—for instance, bonding (from socially homogeneous ties) or bridging (from socially heterogeneous ties) social capital ( Davidsson & Honig, 2003; O’Brien, Philips, & Patsiorvokovsky, 2005). Putnam (2000, p. 22) asserts that “of all the dimensions along which forms of social capital vary, perhaps the most important is the distinction between bridging (or inclusive) and bonding (or exclusive)”. Bridging ties may foster novel ideas, knowledge and opportunities that are valuable to internationalising SMEs; yet, they tend to be geographically distant and difficult to access ( McEvily & Zaheer, 1999). However, certain ties may be local yet bridging in nature for SMEs—such as ties with local MNC subsidiaries—that appear overlooked by researchers (and perhaps, practitioners) who focus on network relationships between SMEs rather than between SMEs and large MNCs ( Etemad, Wright, & Dana, 2001). Research from the perspective of MNC subsidiaries finds that subsidiaries tap into rich local networks such as those that locate within industrial clusters (Birkinshaw & Hood, 2000), and disseminate locally assimilated knowledge within the wider enterprise (Moore & Birkinshaw, 1998). These characteristics are especially associated with “metanationals” that actively leverage local resources for global advantage (Doz, Santos, & Williamson, 2001). The thesis of this paper is that relationships between SMEs and the local subsidiaries of MNCs are bridging (yet local) ties that have considerable potential to yield social capital benefits for knowledge-intensive SMEs. However, bridging social capital is, by definition, more difficult to develop in comparison to bonding social capital. Moreover, limitations of time and resource may result in SMEs under-investing in social capital. Therefore, public intervention is often desirable to promote relationships that can contribute to the growth and internationalisation of local firms (McNaughton & Bell, 2001). A case study of the Scottish Technology and Collaboration (STAC) illustrates this argument. STAC facilitates relationships between local SMEs and subsidiaries of MNCs, creating social capital that SMEs can lever as part of their internationalisation process. The paper proceeds by reviewing literature pertaining to SME internationalisation, MNC subsidiaries and formation of social capital between firms. Subsequent sections describe the method employed and the findings of the case study. The final section presents conclusions and their implications for future research, practice and policy.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In seeking to shed some light on an under-utilized (and under-researched) source of social capital for knowledge-intensive SMEs, this article highlights three points. First, MNC subsidiaries are potentially a source of social capital that may lead to desirable internationalisation outcomes. Second, barriers (in terms of a lack of information, processes and trust) to the creation and advantage of such social capital exist. Third, credible facilitative intervention—characterized by “architecting”, brokering and coaching—can lower these barriers, as seen from the example of Sun Microsystems and the two SMEs. Despite the exploratory nature of this study, some useful implications for theory and practice can be drawn. The study suggests a number of research propositions that future research could fruitfully test. These include the notion that multinational subsidiaries can be a source of social capital to SMEs, and that intervention in terms of architecting, brokering and coaching lead to social capital and strengthen the likelihood of knowledge outcomes through greater absorptive capacity, which in turn potentially leads to internationalisation. It would also be useful for further exploratory research to be carried out to shed more light on SME-MNC subsidiary relationships. This would include further exploring evidence of the incidence of such ties (including unearthing more examples of successful and less successful case studies), the barriers to establishing these linkages and measures—by both practitioners and policy-makers—that seem to overcome these barriers. Our study is a modest effort to highlight some of the basic insights but we anticipate that much more exploratory and theory-testing work can be undertaken quite fruitfully in this overlooked aspect of international entrepreneurship. International entrepreneurship scholars have called for the broadening and nuancing of the research agenda (Dimitratos & Jones, 2005; Oviatt & McDougall, 2005; Zahra, 2005) as it moves beyond its first decade (1994–2004). In keeping with its eclectic nature, international entrepreneurship research could fruitfully draw upon ideas from international business and economic geography on locational effects (Buckley & Ghauri, 2004), and from research at the intersection of strategy and entrepreneurship on the role of social capital in small/new ventures’ growth (Florin, Lubatkin, & Schulze, 2003). Combining these ideas, the effects of a small/new firm's local social capital on early internationalization and performance merit closer attention. This is particularly true when such social capital is bridging in nature, as recognized by entities such as STAC. Thus cluster-related initiatives and efforts to bridge small/new firms with valuable sources of social capital, such as MNC subsidiaries, could give rise to born globals. Understanding such phenomena better can enhance extant understanding of born globals and help broaden the international entrepreneurship agenda. The recognition that MNC subsidiaries constitute a source of social capital to local knowledge-intensive SMEs is of considerable theoretical significance to international business research, but also has useful practical implications. Normatively, entrepreneurs and managers should be encouraged to proactively recognize and leverage sources of social capital that may be under-utilized. Such efforts, and policy measures to facilitate this, may be most effective when undertaken within knowledge-intensive clusters. Even in such settings, however, concerted efforts by all actors are necessary. Interventionist efforts need to establish themselves as neutral and honest brokers. Also, a longer time horizon may be necessary before the impact of these interventions can be properly gauged, given that knowledge outcomes (e.g., new product development) are likely to mediate international entrepreneurship. This calls for persistence and patience on the part of practitioners and policy-makers. However, there is little doubt that ties between SMEs and MNC subsidiaries hold importance, not just in already thriving business settings but also, potentially, for wider economic development. A recent United Nations report urges policy-makers in developing countries to “develop linkages with multinational and large domestic companies to nurture smaller companies” (UNDP, 2004, p. 3). Initiatives such as STAC can be vitally important in this regard.