Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE credits
SMEs (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises) are known as the backbone of an economy and they serve in the regional development of a country through the employment opportunities it generates. They differ from the large companies in terms of size, resources (financial, human etc.) and also the role of the entrepreneur where in an SME the entrepreneur is the owner as well as the manager. Talking about the similarity with large companies, networking also holds an utmost importance to an SME (Small and Medium Sized Enterprise). Networking is one of an important activity of a firm in order to deal with the competitive business market. SMEs having features of less resources require networking in order to be able to have their business running. But as there are differences in SMEs and large companies, there also holds differences in how these companies perceive networking and the benefits they want to acquire through it.
In this paper we study on the factors responsible to motivate or initiate networking activities in SMEs. From our study on these factors we found factors such as, Resource dependency theory, Inter-organizational learning through networks, culture’s influence on networking etc. With these factors affecting networking, we wanted to find if these were the motives behind networking activities by SMEs. Our empirical study was conducted within the SMEs situated in the Umea region.
In this research we used an inductive point of application and the qualitative strategy in order to know the reasons behind SMEs steps towards networking. The data we have used in this thesis consist of both primary and secondary sources. Then after, we gathered the information through face-to-face interview with the owners and the responsible person of respective company. These persons have a good insight into the company’s networking activities as well as its factors. It is finding out the factors responsible to initiate networking specifically among SMEs.
We found that the degree of influence of factors vary from SMEs to SMEs, depending upon the nature of SMEs, entrepreneurs, network actors and so on. Therefore, some factors have high influence and some factors have low or even neutral influences as well.
2011. , 66 p.