Networks, business models, and competitiveness in small Finnish firms

Mika Westerlund, Diane A. Isabelle*, Risto Rajala, Seppo Leminen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Small firms must design business models that leverage the resources of others to succeed in domestic and global markets. This study investigates the variance in business models of small firms seeking to prosper through networking within an intensely competitive landscape. We use explorative quantitative methods to analyse the link between networking, business models and financial performance of 90 small and industrial Finnish firms. The results reveal five types of business models: two of them are oriented internationally and three are oriented domestically. We mapped these business model types within a financial outcomes matrix to capture the differences in business model performance and found that competitiveness and financial performance of small firms under globalisation depend on their business model and networking strategy. In particular, inter-organisational networking contributes to sales growth and international expansion contributes to improved profitability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-26
Number of pages18
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Business Models
  • Financial Efficiency
  • Finland
  • Global Competitiveness
  • Inter-Organisational Networking
  • International Business
  • Internationalization
  • Networks
  • Small Firms
  • Strategy

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