Facilitation of links between multinational subsidiaries and SMEs: The Scottish Technology and Collaboration (STAC) initiative
Multinational subsidiaries constitute a potential source of social capital for SMEs that can help in the internationalisation process. Such social capital is particularly valuable because it is a form of bridging (socially heterogeneous), rather than bonding (socially homogenous), social capital, and therefore could potentially lead to new information, ideas and opportunities. However, even in the best situations, limits on information exchange and trust hamper collaboration between SMEs and MNC subsidiaries. Facilitation by a neutral agency may help to overcome these barriers. This paper presents the case of the Scottish Technology and Collaboration (STAC) initiative as an illustration of the facilitation process--comprising architecting, brokering and coaching--and its outcomes, chiefly the formation of social capital, which in turn has the potential to lead to knowledge outcomes and ultimately internationalisation for the SME. This case reveals important implications for both policy and theories of SME internationalisation, especially the need to recognize and lever under-utilized sources of social capital.
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Volume (Year): 15 (2006)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
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