University of Twente Student Theses


Companies’ needs in networking and online business networking platforms

Stankevich, Alina (2017) Companies’ needs in networking and online business networking platforms.

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Abstract:Since we are living in a fast moving world in the era of digitalization, partnership and collaboration are seen as mandatory for businesses in order to be innovative and flourish. Generation X is followed by generation Y and Z which cannot live without the Internet, electronic devices, and social networks. This influences nowadays the way they network professionally since possibilities of online networking and its benefits increased dramatically. Therefore, the goal of this study is to investigate how online business networking platforms (OBNPs) can fulfill the needs of companies (SMEs and startups) in the process of finding new business partners (other companies) for co-innovation and collaboration. For answering the research question, a literature review and an empirical study were conducted. For the empirical research, a qualitative method (particularly, semi-structured interviews) was chosen. The interviews were conducted with two target groups: companies-users of OBNPs and platform-providers (OBNPs) to have two perspectives on the companies‟ needs in networking and how it is possible to fulfill them by online means. As the result, a list of needs in networking and an examined research model with factors/reasons which influence the choice of use between online and offline networking are presented. In addition, it is discussed how OBNPs can fulfill the needs of companies-users. As a theoretical contribution, a new cluster of factors was added to the research model as the result of the study. As the practical contribution, recommendations for companies regarding the more beneficial use of online networking and OBNPs were suggested along with recommendations for OBNPs on how to improve their work.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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