Partnering with Competitors : SMEs’ Relationships in the Western European Defence sectors
Sammanfattning: This thesis explores the relationship variables of Western European defence-related SMEs when they cooperate with their competitors (coopetition). In particular, how do these various relationship variables affect these SMEs when partnering with competitors? Many researchers have examined partnering with competitors however, this concept has been widely overlooked in the Western European defence sector. The research proceeds as follows: 1. Qualitative research with five different defence-related SME manufacturers in Western Europe. 2. Perceptions and answers of our interviews were further analysed, and 3. the empirical data is interpreted to support our research findings. The study concludes that, based on the empirical data, the relationship variables that can affect negatively to the SMEs are customer power, political forces, SME size, and coopetition in the defence sector. Also, coopetition itself can affect a relationship in a positive way. Moreover, the political landscape plays a critical role, by acting as a force of intervention when partnering. Additionally, the lack of resources has a decisive role in the decision-making process when choosing to collaborate.
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