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School of Business | Department of Management Studies | MSc program in Entrepreneurship | 2014
Thesis number: 13844
The identification, formation and maintenance of international network relationships: a SME perspective
Author: Abed Awadh, Jamila
Title: The identification, formation and maintenance of international network relationships: a SME perspective
Year: 2014  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: MSc program in Entrepreneurship
Index terms: yrittäjyys; entrepreneurship; pk-yritykset; smes; kansainvälistyminen; internationalization; verkostot; networks
Pages: 127
Key terms: SME; identification; formation; maintenance; internationalization; network relationships; qualitative; single case study; processes; practices; culture; trust
Purpose : The growing number of SMEs is an important phenomenon that has gained attention among researchers and policy makers in Finland and Europe. The purpose of this thesis is to increase our understanding, how SMEs identify, form and maintain international network relationships. This will be achieved by studying and building on existing literature on this topic.

Methodology : This study adapts an interpretive qualitative single case study approach applying a systematic combining abductive method. A target partner is studied.

Findings : Three empirical findings emerge from this study. First, face-to-face meetings show importance in building trust and lowering cultural barriers between network partners. Second, good human relationships with network partners and competitors reflect a core element in the successful development of international networks and partnerships. Third, distinguishing aspects between national and international network partners reveal important aspects that benefit this study. Based on our findings three contributions are produced. The first is a framework of business processes and practices. The second is better understanding of the partner's benefits, intentions and expectations. The third is observation of culture differences in maintaining international relationships.
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.