IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Relational bridges to international markets. How subcontractors’ relational capabilities support their internationalization routes


  • Bortoluzzi, Guido
  • Balboni, Bernardo


The article focuses on subcontractors’ capability of linking to local hubs of internationalized networks and using them as springboards to international markets. The aim of this paper is to analyze the causal relationships between subcontractors’ relational capabilities and their degree of internationalization, mediated by the level of the subcontractors’ involvement with local firms and networks linked to international markets. A multivariate causal model was tested through structural equation modelling on a sample of 104 Italian subcontracting small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The data suggest the positive role of local but internationalized supply networks in supporting subcontractors’ internationalization processes, while, surprisingly, we found that the linkage to localized multinational enterprises (MNEs) can have a negative influence on internationalization outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Bortoluzzi, Guido & Balboni, Bernardo, 2012. "Relational bridges to international markets. How subcontractors’ relational capabilities support their internationalization routes," Working Papers DEAMS 6, DEAMS - Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, Aziendali, Matematiche e Statistiche "Bruno de Finetti".
  • Handle: RePEc:tre:wpaper:6

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    Subcontractors; SMEs; Internationalization; Relational capabilities;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tre:wpaper:6. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gianni Perini). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.