Frontiers in European Entrepreneurship Research
Edited by Ulla Hytti, Robert Blackburn, Denise Fletcher and Friederike Welter
Chapter 6: Overcoming the ‘smallness challenge’ in asymmetrical alliances
This study draws on the concepts of geographical, organizational and technological proximity to study the perspective of small firms in five asymmetrically sized strategic alliances. A case study design is applied, and interview data from the Norwegian oil and gas industry form the basis for a cross-case analysis. Findings illustrate that organizational and technological proximity mitigates small firms’ liabilities of smallness, whereas geographical proximity has a mitigating effect only when a small firm lacks the knowledge and experience necessary to interact effectively with its large partner. The study contributes to opening the black box about how small firms can survive and prosper in large-partner strategic alliances.
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