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Dancing with Gorillas: How Small Companies Can Partner Effectively with MNCs

Shameen Prashantham and Julian Birkinshaw
California Management Review
Vol. 51, No. 1 (Fall 2008), pp. 6-23
DOI: 10.2307/41166466
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41166466
Page Count: 18
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Abstract

A number of small enterprises are affected—often in dramatic ways—by the increasing presence of MNCs in their home markets. Small enterprise often find themselves facing a very difficult set of choices as they consider whether and how they should engage with the MNCs. This article critically evaluates the strategies smaller enterprises are adopting in a globalizing world. The most effective strategy for globalization is through partnerships with local MNC subsidiaries—in their own backyard—which can then be leveraged to generate opportunities on a global scale. This analysis particularly emphasizes the need for small enterprises to use to their advantage the points of difference (i.e., asymmetry) between them and the MNCs with whom they partner.

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