Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research
1996 Edition


EXTERNAL RESOURCE EXCHANGE AND PERCEPTIONS OF COMPETITIVENESS WITHIN ORGANIZATIONAL NETWORKS:
AN ORGANIZATIONAL LEARNING PERSPECTIVE

Sherrie E. Human, Texas Christian University

Keith G. Provan, University of Arizona


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Introduction
Network Resource Exchange and Learning
Methods
Findings
Discussion
References


ABSTRACT

This study is an in-depth exploratory examination of two cooperative networks of small- and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected from 42 firms in the two networks in an effort to build a better understanding of what and how network involvement might contribute to member firms. We focus in particular on issues of resource exchange and the extent to which the network can enhance firm knowledge about their own competitiveness and about competition. Findings suggest that when small- and medium-sized firms become involved in a network they increase their resource exchanges to "stay small but act big" through network participation. In addition, network participation appears to increase members’ awareness of their own competitive capabilities and to expand their awareness of competitors in their organization field, although the extent to which this organizational learning takes place varies, depending on pre-network relations and the primary focus of the network.

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1997 Babson College All Rights Reserved
Last Updated 1/15/97 by Geoff Goldman & Dennis Valencia

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