Strong Ties, Weak Ties and the Management of Innovation: The Case of Danish and German SMEs

Part of the Contributions to Management Science book series (MANAGEMENT SC.)


Dynamic changes in the structure of value-added chains lead to an enhancement of innovations of SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) and therewith to an impact of the national economies. In the European context the support of the innovation process of SMEs is a goal of the economic policy. In this context private and public consultancies should provide advice for the innovation management of SMEs. This is to some extent politically introduced but the offer of advisory service is seldom used. The integration of consultancies leads to weak relations in the cooperating innovation network and so the risk of losing the competitive edge increases. Based on a Danish–German dataset, this contribution addresses the question of which conditions initiate and impede the utilization of the consulting system from a business point of view. We found that both Danish and German SMEs utilize far more strong than weak ties when it comes to choosing cooperation partners, but at the same time the Danish SMEs manage to exploit the range of services offered by consultancies better.


Social Capital Innovation Process Innovation Network Relational View Contractual Agreement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susanne Gretzinger
  • Holger Hinz
  • Wenzel Matiaske
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Economics and Social Sciences, Hamburg and German Institute of Economic Research (DIW), Socio-Economic Panel StudyHelmut-Schmidt-UniversityBerlinGermany

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