Networking firms in a global economy : Impact of agglomeration economies and networking on international operation in small and medium-sized firms
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- Geografi i Bergen 
The main topic analysed in this article is the clustering of economic activities and its relation to human agency; social and business networking. The article develops arguments on agglomeration economies, production of positive externalities, transaction costs and dynamic competition and use these entries in explaining the functional and territorial divisi on of labour, development of inter-firm relations and the dynamics of knowledge production among SME's in Scandinavia. This general insight is used to develop a modelexplaining international competitiveness of SMEs as a function of thefirm's 1) internal resources (human resources, products, process technology), 2) the entrepreneurial resources of the manager and 3) thefirm's use of external resources. The content and quality of theseresources is partly explained by the firm's local business environment. Next the model is tested empirically by using information collected from 274 SMEs in Finland, Norway and Sweden. The data are analysed using multivariate statistical methods. The article conclude that best predictor variable was production technology and product. Networking and local environment did not influence on the degree of internationalisation of the firm on a general basis. On the other hand, dividing the sample into two segments, metal industry and wood industry, the local environment seemed to pr edict the quality of the human resources of the firm, the product produced and the technology used.
PublisherUniversity of Bergen. Department of Geography
SeriesGeografi i Bergen