Purpose: This paper aims first to identify the patterns and governance modes of strategic alliances between microfirms and second, to show that alliances between microfirms have specific characteristics. Design/methodology/ approach: The research adopts a qualitative approach, based on a survey of 20 alliances. It uses semi-directive interviews with entrepreneurs of multi-activity sector firms and discourse analysis. Findings: The paper proposes a typology of microfirm alliances, and highlights the importance of a coherent vision on the part of the partners: egocentered or co-development logic. First, it explains alliance motivations, and presents the different alliance configurations: patterns, purposes, and entrepreneurs' relationships. Then, it analyses these configurations and governance modes, and shows several specificities: lack of formalisation, absence of contractual relationships, trust, and constrained trust. Finally, the paper questions the impact of strategic alliances on the development of microfirms. Originality/value: The research contributes to the knowledge of microfirms' strategic behaviours by showing new results about the functioning of strategic alliances. It shows that informal relationships predominate, and it confirms the research into the role of trust for construction and success of interorganisational collaboration.
|Number of pages||23|
|Journal||International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|
- Small enterprises
- Strategic alliances