Title: Networks, business models, and competitiveness in small Finnish firms

Authors: Mika Westerlund; Diane A. Isabelle; Risto Rajala; Seppo Leminen

Addresses: Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Canada ' Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Canada ' School of Science, Aalto University, Finland ' Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Vanha maantie 9 02650 Espoo, Finland; School of Business, Aalto University, P.O. Box 21210, FI-00076 Aalto, Finland

Abstract: Small firms must design business models that leverage the resources of others to succeed in domestic and global markets. This study investigates the variance in business models of small firms seeking to prosper through networking within an intensely competitive landscape. We use explorative quantitative methods to analyse the link between networking, business models and financial performance of 90 small and industrial Finnish firms. The results reveal five types of business models: two of them are oriented internationally and three are oriented domestically. We mapped these business model types within a financial outcomes matrix to capture the differences in business model performance and found that competitiveness and financial performance of small firms under globalisation depend on their business model and networking strategy. In particular, inter-organisational networking contributes to sales growth and international expansion contributes to improved profitability.

Keywords: networks; inter-organisational networking; networking strategy; business models; global competitiveness; internationalisation; international business; financial efficiency; small firms; Finland; financial performance; firm performance.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBG.2017.081029

International Journal of Business and Globalisation, 2017 Vol.18 No.1, pp.9 - 26

Received: 13 Oct 2015
Accepted: 07 Dec 2015

Published online: 15 Nov 2016 *

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