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Strategic Alliances between SMEs and Large Firms: An Exploration of the Dynamic Process


  • Senad Rothkegel

    () (University of Auckland Business School, Department of Management and Employment Relations)

  • Ljiljana Erakovic

    () (University of Auckland Business School, Department of Management and Employment Relations)

  • Deborah Shepherd

    () (University of Auckland Business School, Department of Management and Employment Relations)


This paper explores the dynamics in strategic alliances between small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and large organisations (corporates). Despite the volumes written on this subject, few studies take into account this context of inter-organisational relationships. The dynamics in strategic partnerships between small and large organisations are potentially multifaceted and fraught with complexities and contradictions. The partner organisations bring diverse interests and resources to the strategic partnerships and these affect the dynamics of their relationships. Using the literature on strategic alliances, this article examines four such strategic partnerships in New Zealand. Results show that in order to increase the likelihood of successful collaboration, the alliance partners must understand the importance of building trust and a shared alliance purpose, and both of these must be communicated effectively at executive and operational levels.

Suggested Citation

  • Senad Rothkegel & Ljiljana Erakovic & Deborah Shepherd, 2006. "Strategic Alliances between SMEs and Large Firms: An Exploration of the Dynamic Process," management revue. Socio-economic Studies, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 17(1), pages 50-71.
  • Handle: RePEc:rai:mamere:1861-9908_mrev_2006_01_rothkegel

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    Cited by:

    1. Sylvaine Mercuri & Maha Raïs, 2010. "Alliance stratégique entre PME et Grande Firme Internationale : Quel rôle pour le middle manager ?," Post-Print halshs-00692411, HAL.

    More about this item


    Strategic Alliances; SMEs; Trust; Commitment; New Zealand;

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence
    • M10 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - General


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