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How to find an international business partner?
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, EMM (Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Management).
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, EMM (Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Management).
2007 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Magister), 10 points / 15 hpStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Introduction: Already in the 1970’s, internationalisation was noted as a striking trend in business. Since then, the speed of internationalisation has increased as infrastructure, communication, and IT have decreased space and time barriers for international trade. Today, companies must engage in international activities to survive in the competitive environment and researchers argue that firms’ international performance is determined by their ability to establish relationships.

Problem: In order to facilitate the search for business actors globally, Chamber Trade Business to Business AB offers a database in which companies can post business inquiries. Lately, the number of inquiries published in the database has decreased. Therefore, the question arose what other tools companies use instead when searching for business partners. This empirically driven problem is also matched by a theoretical need for more research about how firms establish international relationships.

Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to analyse how small Swedish B2B companies find downstream international partners.

Theoretical framework: In order to create a frame of reference for guidance in the collection and analysis of the empirical data, theory has been divided into three sections; Internationalisation theory, Business to Business relationships theory, and Means for international interaction.

Method: To fulfil the purpose of the thesis, a qualitative study with an inductive approach was undertaken. Secondary data in terms of literature and academic articles were scanned to create a theoretical framework and to facilitate the collection of primary data. Primary data was gathered from ten small Swedish firms in order to find out how their downstream international business relationships had been initiated.

Conclusion: Our thesis concludes that many Swedish sellers start out their internationalisation to countries with close distance by responding to unsolicited orders from foreign customers. Over time, their proactiveness increases and they primary use the following channels in order to find international partners: networks, trade fairs, trade- and industry organisations, and the Internet. Databases have several defaults for being a useful search tool, mainly their lack of precise search criteria and personal interaction. Further, when companies offer a high quality product, a reputation is created about the company. Consequently, foreign customers pull the company into new countries and the need for external search tools is low.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. , p. 83
Keywords [en]
Internationalisation, buyer-seller relationship, network, international business relationship, international business partner
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-909OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-909DiVA, id: diva2:4661
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Available from: 2007-08-08 Created: 2007-08-08

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Citation style
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