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    STUDIA NEGOTIA - Issue no. 4 / 2009  

Authors:  KARLA DIAZ.
  Abstract:   Experience of some countries shows how alliances have helped SME (small and medium enterprises) to be successful; however, this strategy is still not very popular in many other countries. Managing alliances is no more difficult than deciding to enter into such a cooperative relationship. Many researchers, particularly in the advanced countries have studied strategic alliances with special emphasis on large enterprises and focused as a way of internationalization but there is still a gap of references to understand how this decision is taken from the SME: what makes SME to be engaged in alliances? which factors are playing an important role into this decision?The innovation of this research is to provide a framework of alliance decision-making process based on five phases as well as the identification of key factors that make SME to be engaged on alliances. The proposal is based on different perspectives from the social capital, mainly social exchange, and economic development into the alliances decision making particularly in SME. This research could be especially attractive to the different actors involved in SMEs: government; large enterprises, universities and Non- government organization in order to focus their effort on those weak phases or factors that may be potentially developed in a new way of joint working. The empirical data comes from a sample of Mexican SME. The preliminary results show that the perception of the enterprise competence and the identification of potential partners are critical phases into the alliance decision-making process. Although most of the entrepreneurs desire to be involved in alliance, the lacks of possession of information about alliances issues as well as the lack of trust are key factors that limit this decision.

Key words: Alliances, decision-making, phases, influence factors.
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