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Paper info: Can SMBs in Network Create Competitive Advantage? Experiences from a Norwegian Study

Title


Can SMBs in Network Create Competitive Advantage? Experiences from a Norwegian Study

Authors


Tor Jarl Trondsen

Place of Publication


The paper was published at the 17th IMP-conference in Oslo, Norway in 2001.

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Abstract


This paper addresses the changing competitive environment, sometimes named ?the neweconomy?, and the resulting opportunities created for SMBs organised in networks.Some of the balance of power seems to be shifting from the traditional large corporationsto smaller, innovative companies. Change is taking place in many industries and in manyforms. Information technology and the Internet phenomenon seem to be instrumental inthis paradigm shift.Any period of instability creates new opportunities for innovative players in the field. Theopportunities that are created for SMBs and problems of larger companies underenvironmental instability are addressed.The essence is that SMBs can cooperate in networks that make room for specializationand creativity at the same time as they can reap the benefit of being part of a largerentity. Said in another way: they can maintain the small company strengths and at thesame time compete with the larger companies.SMBs can, by rethinking their external relationships establish powerful alliances thatmake the cooperating network a worthy competitor to the incumbents.In addition to the overview of trends, the paper describes three SMB networks inNorway, pointing out the success factors and pitfalls associated with establishing andoperating a network with independent participants.