University of Hertfordshire

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-450
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Business Research
Early online date7 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021


Strategic alliances are an important option for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) when obtaining knowledge and information. Although existing studies suggest that entrepreneurial competencies (ECs) enable SMEs to form alliances and achieve alliance success, they overlook the role played by external knowledge absorption and mutual trust. Our study was thus aimed to address this issue by exploring and understanding the relationship between entrepreneurial competency and alliance success. The analysis of survey data drawn from 246 UK manufacturing SMEs suggests that the absorption of external knowledge mediates the relationship between ECs and alliance success. Moreover, mutual trust enhances the strength of the relationship between ECs and external knowledge absorption. By drawing on the relational view, our study contributes to the strategic alliance and SMEs literatures and supports a moderated mediation mechanism.


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