Title: Network embeddedness: a qualitative study of small technology-based firms

Authors: Mário Franco; Heiko Haase

Addresses: Department of Management and Economics, NECE Research Unit, University of Beira Interior, Estrada do Sineiro, 6200-209 Covilhã, Portugal ' Department of Business Administration, Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, University of Applied Sciences Jena, Carl-Zeiss-Promenade 2, 07745 Jena, Germany

Abstract: The value of cooperation is recognised as an integral part of small technology-based firms’ (STBFs) success; however, there is a lack of research regarding the importance of network embeddedness for these firms. The objective of this study is to overcome this void by applying the systemic evolution model (Yli-Renko and Autio, 1998). Therefore, we performed multiple exploratory case studies in three Portuguese STBFs. We found that the firms have achieved different levels of embeddedness, which is linked with their growth level. As an important driver for network embeddedness, we found the existence of patents. We deduct that the STBFs’ future as disseminators of technology will continue to depend on cooperation networks.

Keywords: network embeddedness; STBFs; small technology-based firms; enterprise development; patents; systemic evolution model; case study; Portugal; cooperation; embedded systems.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMED.2011.042971

International Journal of Management and Enterprise Development, 2011 Vol.11 No.1, pp.34 - 51

Published online: 10 Oct 2011 *

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