Networking, trust and embeddedness amongst SMEs in the Aberdeen oil complex

MacKinnon, D., Chapman, K. and Cumbers, A. (2004) Networking, trust and embeddedness amongst SMEs in the Aberdeen oil complex. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 16, pp. 87-106. (doi: 10.1080/08985620410001677826)

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Over the last decade or so, networking has become a 'vogue concept' in small business research, connecting with wider debates on learning and regional development. Participation in inter-firm networks is seen to provide small firms with access to a broader pool of resources and knowledge, helping them to overcome size-related disadvantages. In particular, the role of such networks as channels for innovation and learning within regions and localities has been emphasized in the context of an apparent shift towards a knowledge-driven economy. In this paper, we provide an empirically-grounded analysis of networking, trust and embeddedness amongst small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Aberdeen oil complex. Drawing upon survey and interview data, it is argued that connections to extra-local networks play a crucial role in providing access to wider sources of information and knowledge. At the same time, an Aberdeen location still matters to oil-related firms because of the access it offers to crucial forms of industry-specific information and expertise. In concurring with recent calls for more empirically-grounded research which seeks to 'test' theoretical propositions against relevant data, we suggest in conclusion that a combination of firm surveys and face-to-face interviews provides an appropriate way forward

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cumbers, Professor Andrew
Authors: MacKinnon, D., Chapman, K., and Cumbers, A.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Entrepreneurship and Regional Development

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