Interfirm cooperation among small manufacturing firms

V. Hanna, K. Walsh

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    68 Citations (Scopus)


    This article evaluates interfirm cooperation among small manufacturing firms. Networks of small firms work together on numerous activities such as marketing, procurement or manufacturing; however, are certain 'enablers' necessary for successful cooperation? To answer this question networking activities among small manufacturers were investigated. Over the course of 12 months 23 in-depth interviews were conducted: 7 with network brokers (network brokers identify opportunities, bring small firms together and facilitate cooperation), 2 with small firm business associations with an acknowledged stance on the benefits of small firm cooperation and 14 with small firms engaged in interfirm cooperation. These semi-structured discussions explored the key characteristics of successful networks, the motives for initiating a cooperative relationship, how firms managed appropriation concerns and how they coordinated tasks. The findings indicate a clear demarcation between networking activities that are led by brokers and those that are created of the participating firms' own volition.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)299-321
    Number of pages23
    JournalInternational Small Business Journal
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2008


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