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The involvement of entrepreneurial network ties as advisory entities within the strategic decision-making process of small firms : a process perspective

Kamp, Jan-Willem Bernardus (2020) The involvement of entrepreneurial network ties as advisory entities within the strategic decision-making process of small firms : a process perspective.

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Abstract:This study focuses on the strategic decision-making (SDM) process within relatively small firms, more specifically investigating the role of owner/managers (OM) and the involvement of network partners. Network partners are found to be useful sources to exchange information with that can be used for strategic issues. However, there is a limited understanding on the dynamics regarding the involvement of network partners within the SDM process. This study touches four dimensions to contribute to this scarce literature by taking into account: (1) who is included? (2) Why is this person included? (3) How does this person contribute and (4) what is the actual impact of this persons’ input? Moreover, current literature lacks studies on approaching SDM from a process perspective and therefore this study investigates the role of network partners within four different stages of SDM. Lastly, the study made a distinction between ‘strategic decisions’ and ‘less strategic decisions’ to examine whether this would have an impact on the involvement of network partners. Data for this paper was collected by interviewing 16 OMs of relatively small firms within Twente, a sub-region of the Netherlands, which resulted in a sample of 22 SDM processes. The results show that in general OMs do include network partners during the SDM process, especially in the first two stages of the SDM process. Within these stages the involvement frequency is significantly higher than in the last two stages. Thereby, it turns out that most of the involved network partners share (strong) existing relationships with the OM. Moreover, the study found out that different types of network partners are involved, for different types of reasons, with specific contributions and varying levels of impact on the final strategic decision. Eventually, it also turned out that the involvement of network partners differs for ‘strategic decisions’ and ‘less strategic decisions’ contingent upon the different stages of the SDM process. By studying the dynamics regarding the SDM process and the involvement of network partners, a contribution is made to strategic management and networking literature since it provides a more detailed understanding of how OMs incorporate their network within strategic processes.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/81444
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