School of Business publications portal
This portal is no longer updated. Aalto University School of Business Master's Theses are now in the Aaltodoc publication archive (Aalto University institutional repository)
School of Business | Department of Management Studies | International Business | 2014
Thesis number: 13788
Creation and development of marketing networks during internationalization - multiple case study on Nordic fashion companies
Author: Salonen, Jonna
Title: Creation and development of marketing networks during internationalization - multiple case study on Nordic fashion companies
Year: 2014  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: International Business
Index terms: kansainväliset yhtiöt; international companies; kansainvälistyminen; internationalization; markkinointi; marketing; suhdemarkkinointi; relationship marketing; verkostot; networks; muoti; fashion; pienyritykset; small businesses
Pages: 126
Key terms: marketing networks, fashion, micro-enterprise, marketing, network theory, relationship-based marketing, internationalization, network organization

This thesis studies the phenomenon of marketing network creation and development of micro-companies in the context of Finnish and Swedish fashion industry. First objective of this study is to analyse the kind of marketing networks Finnish and Swedish micro fashion companies engage in and why. Second objective is to find out how they create and develop their marketing network on their path to internationalization over time. Furthermore, the role of network organization as a wider network coordinator was the third objective of the study. Overall, the study focuses on both inter-firm linkages and the wider network environment providing a holistic view of networking.


A multiple case study approach was used in this study. This was done through semi-structured interviews and extensive field research on both Finnish and Swedish markets. Two case companies and one network organization from each market were chosen. To reflect the nature of research questions, a process-oriented approach was chosen. The data was analysed and interpreted using cross-case analysis method. The framework developed in literature review was refined with the findings from empirical research and recommendations for both companies and organizations were provided.


The research suggests that the importance of networking is high and this is often realized but not formally executed by the companies. Main reasons for networking were access to intangible and tangible resources, access to networks and the collective power to overcome challenges. The network players were identified through ARA-model which proved to be effective in conceptualizing the network and explaining the relations. The needed stakeholders that can improve marketing were identified through six markets model. Special emphasis in the context of fashion was given to referral and influencer markets. Development of the network was a result of critical events taking place during the process. Furthermore, it was found that the network organization's role can be significant if it succeeds in providing relevant content and connections for the participating companies, and this was found to be one of the major differences between the two markets.
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.