The investigator asked the research subjects to provide the areas they cooperate with other firms via business networking. Majority of the participants indicated that they partner with other firms in various areas such as knowledge transfer, financing, exporting, training, marketing, production, and research and development and this has helped my firm to have a competitive edge. Thirty percent asserted that other areas of cooperation encompass economic and financial exchange, technological exchange, knowledge exchange, legal exchange, as well as, informational exchange. One participated stated:
You see, there are many areas we can cooperate with other firms. For instance, I have cooperated with other similar firms in the areas of research and development with an aim of findings ways of improving the quality of the products and services we provide. P1
Figure 2: Areas of co-operation
Benefits associated with Business Networking
Research participants were asked to provide their opinions and experience regarding the advantages associated with business networking. Eighty percent of the participants indicated that business networking allows organizations to combine resources with an aim of entering new markets, acquiring new resources and technologies, attaining economies of scale, and gaining knowledge. Twenty percent of the subjects pointed out that business networking allow a firm to acquire new technologies, obtain solutions to their problem, and to boost their innovation and creativity. As argued out by one experienced entrepreneur:
Business networking has assisted my firm to increase its knowledge, increase flexibility, minimize production cost, and reduce business risk taking.P2
Figure 3: Benefits of business networking
Small business networking
Pitfalls associated with Business Networking
The subjects were asked to provide their opinions regarding some of the shortcomings associated with business networking. The majority of the participants (90%) argued that with business networking, there is the possibility of local competitors gaining inside knowledge and using it to undermine the business as well as reducing the firm’s competitive edge. The rest of the subjects (20%) pointed that business organization that depend on business networking may loss control and give room to outside interference. An entrepreneur posited:
Sometimes it is dangerous to engage in business networking. The firm you engage may be interested in gaining your secrets and confidential information that so that it use it to obtain competitive edge hence undermining the performance of your firm.P
Chapter Five: Discussion
The findings of this study are supported by existing literature. Borrowing from Bonner et al. (2005), business networking is increasingly becoming important and common for various reasons. One of the reasons is that the today’s business environment is dynamic and ever-changing and requires firms to cooperate and coordinate with one another (Walter et al., 2006; Wang et al., 2004; Wilkinson & Young, 2005). The advent of modern technologies does not encourage human interaction. Economic benefits of business networking include reduced production costs and increased sales. Business networking has enabled small businesses to attain competitive advantage. Specifically, small businesses cooperated with other firms to acquire new technologies, obtain solutions to their problem, and to boost their innovation and creativity (Worrall, 2007; Watson, 2007; Wincent, 2005).
Benefits of networking
Chapter Six: Conclusion and Recommendations
Today’s business firms in UAE are increasingly developing links with other businesses with an aim of attaining competitive advantage and sustaining their viabilities in the ever-changing global market. Business organizations within UAE can pursue a common goal or interest via coordination, collaboration, and co-operation with other business entities. This paper provides the following recommendations that may be adopted by firms to boost their competitive edge:
Firms in UAE should adopt business networking because it will help them to increase its knowledge, increase flexibility, minimize production cost, and reduce business risk taking
Organizations in UAE should implement business networking because it will them absorb helps a business to absorb, forecast, and forestall uncertainty affecting economic activities.
Business firms in UAE can also build their reputation or improve their image via business networking. For instance, a small business that associates itself with a large and prestigious organization could improve its reputation and image in the global market.
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