Title: Impact of international political units on small business firms' relationships – the case of EU and Swedish small firms

Authors: Amjad Hadjikhani, Firouze Pourmand, Peter Thilenius

Addresses: Department of Business Studies, Uppsala University, Box 513, SE 751 20 Uppsala, Sweden. ' Department of Business Studies, Uppsala University, Box 513, SE 751 20 Uppsala, Sweden. ' Department of Business Studies, Uppsala University, Box 513, SE 751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract: In the field of globalisation, there have emerged political organisations with international missions, affecting business firms. The focus of this study is on how international organisations such as the European Union (EU) influence small firms conducting business in Sweden. The study employs a business network approach and aims to develop a theoretical view to study how the coercive and supportive behaviour of such a political organisation affects business relationships. The theoretical view is constructed in two analytical parts: the focal business relationship and the political connections. The business relationship is explored by means of seven dimensions and the political connection is investigated by coercive and supportive relationships. In the study, statistical information retrieved in a survey involving 134 Swedish SMEs is analysed using PLS techniques. The results of the analysis highlight the view of heterogeneity, not only for the types of connections, but also for the different types of relationship dimensions.

Keywords: business relationships; political dimensions; European Union; political connections; coercive; supportive; Sweden; small firms; international organisations; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBE.2009.028794

International Journal of Business Environment, 2009 Vol.2 No.4, pp.435 - 452

Available online: 30 Sep 2009 *

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