ASSOCIATIONS, institutions, etc.
RESEARCH & development
INTERNATIONAL business enterprises
The study explores the similarities and differences between the large
and small firms that make up the Information Technology Association of
Galway (ITAG) and the desired and actual benefits obtained from
membership of the network. It consists of a web survey to identify the
key themes that warranted further investigation through unstructured
in-depth interviews. Surprisingly, the dynamic between small and large
sized network participants was not strongly evident. Although there was
successful collaboration among ITAG member firms for the purpose of
skill development through ITAG's Skillnet initiative, there was little
evidence of strategic collaboration on issues such as research and
development, marketing strategies and exporting.
Indeed, it was expected that multinational companies (MNCs) would
provide a gateway for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to break
into new markets. However, the research did not support this
proposition. Further studies should focus on the ideal conditions for
learning and knowledge processes in alliances with diversely sized
members as well as methods for addressing the difficulties in measuring
organisational learning outcomes.