University of Twente Student Theses


New business partner search, find and selection in small high-tech companies : an entrepreneur and managers’ perspective

Harmsen, H.W. (2018) New business partner search, find and selection in small high-tech companies : an entrepreneur and managers’ perspective.

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Abstract:Nowadays technologies in high-tech follow each other in rapid succession, these technologies are discovered by entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs need to collaborate with other companies to stay on top in their field of practice with new innovations and large added values for society when you think of high-tech medical devices for example. However the high-tech market is often a small market and while increased (online) network opportunities exist, it remains difficult for entrepreneurs to search, find and select the right new business partner for their novelties in a sustainable relationship. Therefore the goal of this paper is to study the process of how entrepreneurs of small high-tech companies in the Netherlands search, find and select a new business partner in order to develop a sustainable relationship and successfully innovate. To answer the research question, a literature review and an empirical study were conducted in the form of a qualitative research method. The research method consisted of fifteen semi-structured interviews that took place with people responsible for the search, find and selection process in small high-tech organizations. This is done in order to understand the process and to understand and explain the decisions entrepreneurs make in successful collaborations with new partners. Data shows that opportunity recognition and the partner search, find and selection process are individual processes in which different people are responsible. It also shows that entrepreneurs develop opportunities over time instead of “popping-up”. Furthermore, this research adds to the theory on the partner selection process with two new proposed stages “pre-search” and “project”. It also shows that collaborations in the high-tech sector often occur with larger vertical value chain partners. Additionally, interview data showed that the factors; personal trust, personal commitment, personal bond and time-to-market had an influence on the process. More precisely, they are not only good for a more efficient process and good decisions, but also for the long term. But, these factors also indicate that the process is very dependent on the people involved and their previous experience. However, this research managed to establish a list of recommendations for entrepreneurs and managers of small high-tech companies to give them a guide on how to search for and select a new business partner. Additionally, a suggestion about a new way of searching and finding a new business partner has been made.
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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