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Small Firm Boundary-spanning via Bridging Ties: Achieving International Connectivity via Cross-border Inter-cluster Alliances

Anthony Goerzen

Journal of International Management, 2018, vol. 24, issue 2, 153-164

Abstract: The notion of “people and pipelines” (i.e., interpersonal and intraorganizational networks) is a parsimonious description of the paths by which firms typically engage in boundary-spanning to develop opportunities to innovate and internationalize. Yet, we know little about how requisite connectivity develops for smaller, resource-poor firms whose access to people and pipelines is limited. I propose that small firms, who are members of industry clusters, are able to span their boundaries through bridging ties to people and pipelines via cross-border intercluster alliances. With case-based illustrations derived from cluster managers and small firms within those clusters, this research is intended to extend our understanding of bridging ties as a form of global market boundary-spanning by exploring this emerging phenomenon in the context of resource-poor, entrepreneurial firms who have no alternative, if they are to innovate and internationalize, but to do so on a shoestring budget.

Keywords: Clusters; Alliances; Boundary-spanning; Bridging ties; Social network; Small and medium-sized firms (SMEs); Internationalization; Entrepreneurship (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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