Abstract

It is widely recognized that firms do not operate in isolation but that they are embedded in networks of relationships with other actors (e.g. Granovetter 1985). Although previous research has shown that external search strategies are important for firm performance (e.g. Laursen and Salter, 2003), we know little about the factors that influence the extent to which SMEs draw on external sources for knowledge. Drawing on the literature on firm resources and capabilities, this paper explores the mechanisms that can increase the breadth and depth of network search strategies. First, we investigate the role of resources in shaping the network search strategies of SMEs. Second, we examine the moderating effect between firm networking capabilities and financial slack on network search strategies’ breadth and depth.

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