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Strategic Alliances of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in the Knowledge-Based Economy


Small and medium-sized enterprises enter into strategic alliances to obtain necessary funds, larger market shares, develop activities on foreign markets, as they do not possess such resources and possibilities alone. Many times, strategic alliances allow them to improve their own competitive position on the market. The partners to an alliance are to guarantee the possibility of lowering the prices, improving the availability of products, outlet markets, technical or marketing expert reports. The intentional selection of cooperators, optimally designed functions, structures, tasks and knowledge management principles in a strategic alliance decide about its success. However, the success of an alliance between two definitely different organisations, concluded on the economic level during a crisis is definitely more difficult to achieve. Despite the appropriately designed and realized cooperation, the enterprises being the alliance partners often fail to accomplish the planned goals.
This elaborate presents selected results of strategic alliances between a small company and a large organisation. The author will try to answer the questions raised in the following way: What can be the scope of action and the scope of the impact of strategic alliances with large companies on the competitive position of small organisations?

The scope of activities of strategic alliances

European enterprises, at the background of the US and Japanese competition, are characterized by a low level of innovation. This relatively low level made the European Commission to recommend the business relations as an element of the stimulation of the development of new enterprises, especially micro-, small and medium-sized companies. Supporting enterprises through government incentive actions such as lending, establishing international contacts, granting non-returnable grants is to make the situation of Europe, especially the position of Poland on world markets, to improve. According to the report of the European Union from 2004 titled Rasing EU R&D Intensity, as well as pursuant to the suggestions of the World Bank (2004), Poland should take advantage of direct and indirect instruments stimulating innovative activities, through which micro-, small and medium-sized companies will be able to offer their new possibilities to large partners. Such instruments include:
  • tax privileges and reliefs;
  • loans;
  • guarantees;
  • public procurements;
  • the funds of venture capitals (I. Bremmer 2009, p.40)
In Poland, government institutions have been engaged in supporting the private activities for a few years now. They have been implementing, among other things, aid programmes such as (P. Tamowicz 2006, p. 36):
  • SOP ICE (2004 – 2006) submeasure 2.2.1, 2.3,
  • Technology Credit Support;
  • Operational Programme Innovative Economy (2007 – 2013).

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