How to find an international business partner?

Companies must engage in international activities to survive in the competitive environment and researchers argue that firms’ international performance is determined by their ability to establish relationships.

Problem: In order to facilitate the search for business actors globally, Chamber Trade Business to Business AB offers a database in which companies can post business inquiries. Lately, the number of inquiries published in the database has decreased. Therefore, the question arose what other tools companies use instead when searching for business partners. This empirically driven problem is also matched by a theoretical need for more research about how firms establish international relationships.

The purpose of this thesis is to analyse how small B2B companies find downstream international partners


1 Introduction
1.1 Background
1.2 Problem discussion
1.3 Purpose
1.4 Definitions
1.5 Perspective
1.6 Research questions
2 Frame of references
2.1 Internationalisation theories
2.1.1 Motives for internationalisation
2.1.2 Traditional internationalisation models
2.1.3 Internationalisation from a network approach
2.1.4 Born Globals
2.2 Business to Business relationship theory
2.2.1 Characteristics of business to business marketing
2.2.2 Relationship theory Emergence of buyers-seller relationships Direct and indirect relationships Social relationships
2.3 Means for international interaction
2.3.1 Knowledge
2.3.2 The role of ICT for international business relations
2.3.3 Facilitating institutions
2.4 Summary of theories
3 Methodology
3.1 Research paradigms
3.2 Quantitative & Qualitative
3.3 Inductive & Deductive
3.4 Data Collection
3.4.1 Secondary Data
3.4.2 Primary Data
3.4.3 Conducting the Interviews
3.5 Data Analysis
3.6 Data Quality
3.6.1 Reliability
3.6.2 Validity
3.7 Limitations
4 Empirical Findings
4.1 BUBS
4.1.1 The internationalisation process
4.1.2 Initiation of international relationships
4.2 Innovativ Vision
4.2.1 The internationalisation process
4.2.2 Initiation of international relationships
4.3 Leather Master
4.3.1 The internationalisation process
4.3.2 Initiation of international relationships
4.4 Prido AB
4.4.1 The internationalisation process
4.4.2 Initiation of international relationships
4.5 Pronova AB
4.5.1 The Internationalisation process
4.5.2 Initiation of international relationships
4.6 San Sac AB
4.6.1 The internationalisation process
4.6.2 Initiation of international relationships
4.7 Scandinavian Eyewear
4.7.1 The internationalisation process
4.7.2 Initiation of international relationships
4.8 Swedish Herbal Institute
4.8.1 The internationalisation process
4.8.2 Initiation of international relationships
4.9 Swemac Medical Appliances AB
4.9.1 The internationalisation process
4.9.2 Initiation of international relationships
4.10 Tapflo AB
4.10.1 The internationalisation process
4.10.2 Initiation of international relationships
4.11 Databases
5 Analysis
5.1 Motives behind the first internationalisation
5.1.1 Reactive motives
5.1.2 Proactive motives
5.2 Through what channels were the first contacts initiated?
5.3 What channels are used to find business partners?
5.3.1 Networks Second order network-strength of weak ties Social Networks Recommendations
5.3.2 Reputation
5.3.3 Trade Fairs
5.3.4 Trade organisations
5.3.5 Industry organisations
5.3.6 Internet
5.4 Discussion
5.4.1 B2B companies and the initiation of international relationships
5.4.2 Why not databases?
6 Conclusion
6.1 Final remarks
6.2 Further research

Author: Henningsson, Emma,Ruden, Emma

Source: Jönköping University

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