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Journal Article

Alliance Decision Making of SMEs  pp13-26

Karla Diaz, Ute Rietdorf, Utz Dornberger

© Jan 2011 Volume 14 Issue 1, ECIME 2010 Special Issue, Editor: Miguel de Castro Neto, pp1 - 166

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Hardly a sector of economic activity has remained untouched by the trend of inter‑firm collaboration, particularly among large enterprises, but it seems to remain uncommon among many SMEs especially in some developing countries. The advantages of the SMEs of being faster and flexible are clouded by the lack of resources and skills to develop businesses in the network. Successful development in some economies, mainly in Asia, has been based on effective linkage participation of SMEs as a strategy to cover the scarcities they face. This strategy is now playing an important role on the agenda in many countries in Latin America, but there is still a lack of information to make this strategy more popular among SMEs in these countries. Traditional literature in developed countries has been focused on large companies to explain what makes an alliance successful, how the relationship alliance partners should be, which structure of the alliance or the type of contract may make or break an alliance but, few researches have explored alliance as a strategy to develop SMEs. The critical role of decision‑making process regarding to the choice of being engaging into an alliance deserves particular research attention. This paper is focused on the alliance decision making process with specially emphasis on SMEs. The main contribution is to provide a framework of different factors that have influenced alliance decision making process. Based on Social Capital and Social Exchange, this research concentrates his analysis on a sample of SMEs from Mexico in which both, experienced and inexperienced alliances entrepreneurs, were considered. Our proposal included twelve variables which were analyzed to find their impact on the alliance decision making. The results show that the internal alliance initiative, frequently enterprise diagnose, trust based on partners’ prestige and smaller or similar characteristics of potential partners have strong influence on positive alliance decision making. Opposite expected characteristics were found between alliance experienced entrepreneurs and alliance inexperienced entrepreneurs.


Keywords: Alliances, decision-making, factors, process, SMEs


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Journal Issue

Volume 14 Issue 1, ECIME 2010 Special Issue / Jan 2011  pp1‑166

Editor: Miguel de Castro Neto

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miguel_neto Dr Miguel de Castro Neto is presently Associate Dean at the Instituto Superior de Estatística e Gestão de Informação of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (ISEGI‑UNL), where he is Invited Assistant Professor. He is editor of the Journal of Information Technology in Agriculture (JITAg), member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Online Information Review journal, and Scientific Advisor of the Revista Brasileira de Agroinformática.  Miguel de Castro Neto holds a PhD in Agronomic Engineering (Universidade Técnica de Lisboa) in the field of Internet‑based agricultural information systems, a Masters degree in Agricultural Economics (Universidade de Évora), a Masters degree extension in Statistics and Information Management (Universidade Nova de Lisboa) and a degree in Agricultural Engineering (Universidade de Évora).His research interests include Business Intelligence, Knowledge management and Social Computing.


This special edition of the EJISE includes thirteen selected papers presented at the 4th European Conference on Information Management and Evaluation ‑ ECIME 2010 which were considered the most important contributions to the advances in the information systems evaluation field of study.

The conference was held at Instituto Superior de Estatística e Gestão from the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (ISEGI‑UNL), Lisbon, Portugal, and the broad topics proposed to be addressed by ECIME 2010 included: evaluation topics; management topics; e‑Government topics; new technologies, innovation and infrastructures; development topics; ethics and philosophy topics; and general topics.

These topics where covered by the presentation in the conference of 47 Papers, 4  PhD Research Papers, and 4 Work in Progress with participants coming from 25 different countries splitted in the following streams: Managing Information; Evaluation of Records and Documents; Business Intelligence; ICT issues as they specifically affect SMEs; Logistics, Supply Chain and Process Improvement; Performance assessment and measurement; Web Tools; Health Information Systems; Evaluation Issues; Health Information Systems Issues; Quality and Service Level; and IS professionals.

The 13 ECIME 2010 selected papers for publishing in this EJISE special issue cover a very wide range of interesting and up to date research areas giving us important insights and new perspectives in future developments in the field and I hope it can became an important contribution to the dynamics in the information systems evaluation research area.


Keywords: action research, adopter categories, adoption, adoption determinants, alliances, architectural principles, BAN, business architecture, business value, CDSS, COBIT, community, computing, consumer goods, decision-making, diffusion of innovations (DOI) theory, digital divide, disadvantaged networks, early warning scorecard, eCommerce, enterprise architecture, evidence-based protocols, factors, GDS (Global Data Synchronization), geobrowser, georeference, GIS (Geographical Information System), GLN (Global Location Numbering), global standards, GoogleEarth, GTIN (Global Trade Items Numbering), GUSI (Global Upstream Supply Initiative), health informatics and body area networks, health information management, hospital information systems, information alignment, information management, information quality, information quality, information systems, information systems architecture, information technology, institutional theory, integrated suppliers, interorganizational systems (IOSs), interpretiv


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