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Strategic partnerships and the internationalisation process of software SMEs


  • Aileen Kennedy


  • Kathy Keeney



This research investigates the nature of strategic partnering activities of software SMEs (small-to-medium-sized enterprises), their motivations to engage in strategic partnerships as part of the internationalisation process, the key benefits achieved and the main challenges encountered. It explores managers’ perceptions of partnership activities through a qualitative research methodology focussing on Irish indigenous firms. Findings suggest that strategic partnerships were initiated to take advantage of firm synergy, reputation and credibility advantages. Partnerships also served as an important foreign market entry mechanism allowing firms to accelerate sales cycles and reduce risk in overseas markets. Challenges facing firms included partner selection and issues of control. Directions for further research are highlighted. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2009

Suggested Citation

  • Aileen Kennedy & Kathy Keeney, 2009. "Strategic partnerships and the internationalisation process of software SMEs," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, vol. 3(3), pages 259-273, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:svcbiz:v:3:y:2009:i:3:p:259-273
    DOI: 10.1007/s11628-008-0061-3

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. García-Canal, Esteban & Duarte, Cristina López & Criado, Josep Rialp & Llaneza, Ana Valdés, 2002. "Accelerating international expansion through global alliances: a typology of cooperative strategies," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 91-107, July.
    2. John Hagedoorn & Rajneesh Narula, "undated". "Innovating through strategic alliances: moving towards international partnerships and contractual agreements," STEP Report series 199805, The STEP Group, Studies in technology, innovation and economic policy.
    3. Knight, Gary A., 2001. "Entrepreneurship and strategy in the international SME," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 155-171.
    4. Isabelle Huault & V. Perret & S. Charreire-Petit, 2007. "Management," Post-Print halshs-00337676, HAL.
    5. Marian V Jones & Nicole E Coviello, 2005. "Internationalisation: conceptualising an entrepreneurial process of behaviour in time," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 36(3), pages 284-303, May.
    6. Coviello, Nicole & Munro, Hugh, 1997. "Network relationships and the internationalisation process of small software firms," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 361-386, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Feng-Jyh Lin & Yi-Hsin Lin, 2012. "The determinants of successful R&D consortia: government strategy for the servitization of manufacturing," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, vol. 6(4), pages 489-502, December.
    2. repec:krk:eberjl:v:5:y:2017:i:3:p:49-77 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Sara Parry & Beata Kupiec-Teahan, 2010. "Exploring Marketing and Relationship Software SMEs: A Mixed Methods Approach," Working Papers 10015, Bangor Business School, Prifysgol Bangor University (Cymru / Wales).
    4. Lin, Feng-Jyh & Wu, Shang-He & Hsu, Maw-Shin & Perng, Chyuan, 2016. "The determinants of government-sponsored R&D alliances," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(11), pages 5192-5195.


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