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Paper info: Let's dance... but how? Organising the dance party in export partner groups


Let's dance... but how? Organising the dance party in export partner groups


Henrik Virtanen and
Åsa Hagberg-Andersson
Hanken School of Economics
Åsa Hagberg-Andersson

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 25th IMP-conference in Marseille, France in 2009.



 ABSTRACT Earlier studies of export partner groups have revealed that a fundamental problem is limping cooperation between the companies in the groups, or using a dancing metaphor; the partners dance poorly or not at all with each other. Without cooperation the idea of export partner groups is undermined. Cooperation is strongly connected to the organisation and coordination of the groups. A change in organisation implies that the roles of the actors in the groups change. The question is how? How is it supposed the partners should dance, and how should the party be organised?  The purpose of this work-in-progress paper is to further elaborate the problem and challenge of organising export partner groups. In the study informants who have functioned as export managers in different export partner groups were in interviewed. Problems and opportunities connected to organisation and different organisational forms of the export partner groups were discussed. The results show that different organisation forms have different benefits and fulfil different aims. In an export partner group, the final choice of organisation depends, e.g. on the companies' line of business, their products and services and the aim of the group. The conclusion is that there is not a single best way of organising export partner groups or organising the dance party.