Is Business Networking An Essential Ingredient of the Success Recipe in Business?
The growth of business networking has been researched and well documented. However, little is known regarding whether business networking is an essential ingredient of the success recipe in business in the United Arab Emirates. The aim of this study was to explore the benefits and pitfalls associated with business networking as well as provide necessary recommendations that can be adopted by business organizations in UAE to attain competitive edge. A qualitative research method was employed to explore the feelings and opinions of the research participants concerning the benefits that business networking brings into a business. Ten experienced entrepreneurs of small size firms were provided with a semi-structured interview. The findings of this study demonstrated that business networking permits organizations to combine resources with an aim of entering new markets, acquiring new resources and technologies, attaining economies of scale, and gaining knowledge. However, business networking may make business firms to loss control and give room to outside interference.
Importance of networking in business
Chapter One: Introduction
Background of the Study
Businesses in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are increasingly realizing the importance of business networking. Over the last many years, Majlis has been regarded as the cornerstone of Emirati civilization. Majlis is an Arab word that means “to sit down”. Families, neighbors, and friends would gather in a Majlis during sunset to discuss a broad range of issues, including business ideas and religious topics over Arab coffee and tea (Salem, 2009). However, due to social and rules, women are restricted from entering the Majlis. Members are free to discuss and exchange ideas and at the end of the meeting, people are assisted to be successful, not only in business but other aspects of life as well. Borrowing from Broad (2012), business networking entails creating and sustaining relationships with other firms. There are a broad range of advantages associated with business networking. Some of these benefits include gaining problem solving skills, business guidance, trustworthiness, technical and market knowledge, workforce, supplies, business associated, shareholders, and more clients (Farinda et al., 2009; De Klerk, 2011; Watson, 2007). Smooth flow of information is a critical component of a successful business. Important information such as competitors’ position, social ties, strategic locations, and market situations can provide critical information regarding existing opportunities that a firm could capitalize on in order to attain competitive edge (Wilkinson & Young, 2007; Wilson & Nielson, 2000; Wincent, 2005). A business organization may develop links with a broad range of organizations and businesses with an aim of attaining competitive advantage and sustaining their viabilities in the ever-changing global market.
Existing literature has concentrated on examining the growth of business networking (Wilkinson & Young, 2005; Wilson & Nielson, 2000; Wincent, 2005). However, little is known regarding the benefits associated with business networking and whether networking is an essential ingredient of the success recipe in business within in UAE. Most researchers have ignored the importance of business networking in attaining competitive edge and increasing the performance of businesses. There is increasing evidence that relationships, embeddedness, and attractiveness in network are closely associated and aligned to business networking activities. Nevertheless, little is known regarding the link between business networking on business performance.
Importance of business networking
Significance of the Study
This study will contribute to improved understanding regarding the benefits associated with business networking in the UAE. The findings of this study will be important to large, small, and medium businesses which are looking for ways of exploiting business networking with an aim of attaining competitive advantage. Market practitioners, policy makers, and academics have hailed business networking as a new strategy that can be employed by business organizations to enhance their performance.
Objectives of the Study
To establish whether business networking is an essential ingredient of the success recipe in business in UAE
To explore the relationship between business networking and business performance in UAE
To establishes benefits and shortcomings associated with business networking in UAE
To explore how business firms can gain competitive advantage through strategic business networking in UAE
To investigate whether business firms that have adopted business networking have attained positive business outcome or attained competitive advantage.
Is business networking is an essential ingredient of the success recipe in business in UAE?
What are the benefits associated with business networking in UAE?
What are pitfalls associated with business networking in UAE?
How can businesses use business networking to attain competitive edge in UAE?
Chapter Two: Literature Review
There are several definitions provided for the term “Business network”. Farinda, Kamarulzaman, Abdullah, and Ahmad (2009) defines business networking as a mode of organizing activities of a business via inter-firm cooperation and coordination with the sole purpose of sharing resources of information. Business network is defined by Broad (2012) as a set of connected actors that perform a broad range of business activities through coordination, collaboration, and cooperation. Networking, according Watson (2007) includes all of the interactions of an individual or a business firms in the network and is employed to describe new forms of between different organizations, including large, small and medium organizations.
Resources Exchanged Via Business Networks
Business organizations can pursue a common goal or interest via coordination, collaboration, and co-operation with other business entities (Wincent, 2005; Watson, 2007). Business networking assists a firm to increase its knowledge, increase flexibility, minimize production cost, and reduce business risk taking. Additionally, business networking helps a business to absorb, forecast, and forestall uncertainty affecting economic activities (Bonner, Kim & Cavusgil, 2005; Wilkinson & Young, 2005). Business firms 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. There is a broad range of resources that can be exchange via business network. These resources include economic and financial exchange, technological exchange, knowledge exchange, legal exchange, as well as, informational exchange (Watson, 2007; De Klerk, 2011; Farinda et al., 2009).
Business Networking International (BNI)-Dubai Chapter
Started in 1985 by Misner Ivan, Buniness Networking International (BNI)-Dubai Chapter is a widely recognized organizations consisting of members from all professionals. The main objective of BNI is to exchange ideas and helping others to succeed. Members meet every week to discuss a broad range of ideas (Bhambhaney, 2016). BNI-Dubai Chapter accommodates entrepreneurs from large, middle, and small sized organizations. Visitors are also welcomed. An ideal visitor at BNI-Dubai Chapter include a individual who has belief and patient in the power of networking, from a business not represented, keen and disciplined, and someone who is well connected (Bhambhaney, 2016). BNI-Dubai Chapter has adopted a methodology that allows members few minutes to discuss their business, permits new quests and members to introduce themselves, official meeting begins after all quests are introduced, new members welcomed, and all members seated. Plan for coming week is also proposed after all the discussion summarized (Bhambhaney, 2016). Figure 1 below demonstrates the performance of BNI.
Figure 1. The performance of BNI
Benefits of Networking
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