Exploring chain, network and cluster collaborative practices: implications for SMEs

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Collaboration among enterprises has been rendered as one of the most important issues in the business agenda, either as a result of the globalisation and deregulation of markets or as a result of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) revolution. Both factors have created a business reality where success in the collaboration practices followed, may result in improvements in the competitive position of enterprises. This paper starts from the basic business activity of the individual enterprise, looks into the chain, network and cluster collaborative practices and analyses their characteristics and the implications for Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs). In addition, it provides insights regarding the opportunities, benefits, requirements and risks related to each collaborative practice. This paper finally argues that different collaboration practices are required, as enterprises and the industrial sectors where they operate, present distinctive characteristics.



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-155
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Networking and Virtual Organisations
StatePublished - 2006

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Published in the International journal of networking and virtual organisation


  • chains, clusters, collaborative practices, enterprises, networks, small-medium enterprises (SMEs)


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