The laws of attraction: What attracts innovative start-up firms to partnerships with global MNCs?

  • T. J. Vapola


This paper explores the factors that drive small, globally oriented start-up firms in choosing one global multinational corporation (MNC) partner over another. Drawing upon value-added theory, it argues that start-up firms choose their global MNC partners in response to the added-value offered by MNC constellations. Based on a synthesis of the literature and a multiple case study of 14 software firms, the paper proposes that small, globally oriented start-ups base this choice on expectations of capturing value directly in the form of direct financial returns and indirectly by accessing the MNC’s market reach, reputation, and technology leadership domains.


International strategic alliances Partnerships Partner selection Partner attraction Software industry Innovation constellation 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aalto University School of EconomicsEspooFinland

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