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Paper info: The Macro View Point to the Change of Business Relationships in Chinese SME network


The Macro View Point to the Change of Business Relationships in Chinese SME network


Yi Jen Wang, Masae Takimoto and Yoshiyuki Nakagawa

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 28th IMP-conference in Rome, Italy in 2012.


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The purpose of this WIP paper is to make sure how the economic development influences the business relationships in the Chinese SMEs network.From the literature review we can find the stability of business relationships is one of the key issues in the industrial marketing research field. However, the most part of industrial marketing researches, especially the researches from IMP group, had focused on the cases that from the developed countries (e.g. Sweden, Finland, UK…etc). So, when we try to apply the findings to the cases in a developing country, some additional view point is necessary. In order to enrich the coverage of industrial marketing researches, we focus our research on the behavior of Chinese SME manufacturers in the mainland China.A survey had been took place in China during 4-20, August, 2011. And five interviews had been arranged, too.There are two main findings from the analysis. (1) In order to keep or to raise performance Chinese SME tends to change its business relationship by some way. However, by the statistical testing we found there are no significant statistical relationships among competitive advantages, relationship change patterns and profit changes. (2)The sampled companies change their business relationships by considering the turnover from their customers but not by the evaluation of competitive advantages. The reasons are related to the industry structure and development capacity.The theoretical contribution of the findings is adding the macro view point on “economic development” to the industrial business researches. The contribution to the business practice is the findings may be helpful when a foreign company tries to build business relationship with Chinese SMEs. The space to develop new business may make company opportunistic.Economic development offers the space to develop new business.There are two limitations in this research. Firstly, the model for analysis is not clear enough, so that the implications to the theory and practice are still weak. The second limitation is the items for measure are still ambiguous. How to refine the model and items for measure to improve the quality of this research is the theme for the next step