Developing business school/SMEs collaboration: the role of trust

DARABI, Fariba and CLARK, Murray (2012). Developing business school/SMEs collaboration: the role of trust. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, 18 (4), 477-493.

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Purpose – To investigate the initiation and development of effective business relationships, including knowledge transfer partnerships, with the primacy of trust as a key factor for collaborative development. Specifically, the aim was to explore Vangen and Huxham’s (2003) notion of a “trust building loop” in the context of a Northern (UK) Business School and regional SMEs. Design/methodology/approach – The methodological approach employed was the “General Analytic Induction” for the interpretation of the data. This was used to develop theory inductively from 23 in-depth interviews. Findings – The results emphasized that trust, especially trust in individuals, is fundamental to collaborative settings, from both practitioners’ and academic points of view. The study identified barriers and drivers to initiating trust-based relationships and a model of initiating collaboration was suggested. Practical implications – The benefits from the research were seen as facilitating the development of effective business relationships between local business schools and SMEs in their regions. This investigation provided pointers that might assist business schools to understand how to manage their relationships with this group of stakeholders (SMEs) to stimulate and improve engagement. Originality/value – There has been minimal research works on building successful collaborations within the business schools context, which contributes to professional practice through collaboration between business schools and SMEs. Keywords Business schools, Small to medium-sized enterprises, Trust, Relationship management, Inter-organisational collaboration, Trust building, General analytic induction Paper type Research paper

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Business School Research Institute > International Business, Economics, SMEs and Entrepreneurship
Departments - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Business School > Department of Management
Identification Number:
Page Range: 477-493
Depositing User: Fariba Darabi
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2017 12:46
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 22:00

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