International network competitiveness Technical and foreign market knowledge development in international SME networks
Sammanfattning: How can small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) compete over time within international networks? This thesis takes a stance in that business network relationships are essential for international SMEs as such networks can provide knowledge and learning opportunities. International network competitiveness is, in this thesis, introduced as a concept that captures SMEs long term performance, resulting from the firms being competitive within international business networks. This thesis thereafter proposes that an analytical framework of International network competitiveness, can promote the study of SMEs' long term performance within international networks.The thesis subsequently acknowledges that SMEs frequently need to develop a combination of technical- and foregin market knowledge so as to stay competitive within international networks. In fact, technical knowledge development is central for an increasingly wider selection of firms, not only high tech firms. By investigating the function of co-innovation (innovation together with network partners), for the proposed components of international network competitiveness, the thesis demonstrate that innovation has intriguing and central functions for the international network competitiveness of SMEs.
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