Title: Quantitative decision support for network integration of start-up companies

Authors: Martin Steinrücke; Wolfgang Albrecht

Addresses: Chair of Business Administration, Entrepreneurship and Supply Chain Management, University of Greifswald, Friedrich-Loeffler-Str. 70, D-17489 Greifswald, Germany ' Chair of Business Administration, Entrepreneurship and Supply Chain Management, University of Greifswald, Friedrich-Loeffler-Str. 70, D-17489 Greifswald, Germany

Abstract: Start-up companies increasingly depend on inter-organisational relations. To ensure sustainable market success of entrepreneurs, it can be advisable to cooperate with existing value-adding structures, such as dynamic networks. The latter adapt flexibly to changing market situations and high competition on a medium-term scale. In this paper, the authors evaluate the benefits of temporary network integration on the basis of commonly gained profits. For this purpose, they develop a mixed-integer linear programming model, which is extended to analyse the integration of one or more facilities of a start-up company. Cooperation requires that entrepreneurs and network managers coordinate the availability of their facilities and capacities, their operations and the material flows to meet the given demand. In this context, the authors do not only consider decisions about the advantage of integration, but they also calculate two different threshold levels determining those product quantities that can be maximally fed into the network by the new partner. Finally, a numerical study is presented. Structural relationships and optimal solutions are depicted for a small problem instance. A scenario analysis with randomly generated data is used to show that satisfying solutions can be obtained for problem instances with realistic settings in acceptable computation times.

Keywords: dynamic networks; medium-term planning; mixed integer linear programming; MILP; network integration; start-up companies; start-ups; quantitative decision support; coordination; cooperation; entrepreneurship.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGSB.2016.076461

International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business, 2016 Vol.8 No.1, pp.73 - 99

Received: 23 Apr 2015
Accepted: 10 Feb 2016

Published online: 09 May 2016 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article