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Home arrow Business & Finance arrow Proceedings of the 1st AAGBS International Conference on Business Management 2014
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A. High Absorptive Capacity and Sufficient Collaborative Capability to Apply OI

Referring to the findings, the absorptive capacity was found to be quite high. Only personnel and financial resources have been indicated to be relatively low. Nevertheless, they were still seen as sufficient to apply OI. Overall, four of the five key factors of absorptive capacity were found to be consistent with the literature. Only R&D intensity was found to be relatively high, which differed from the reviewed research and studies. The collaborative capability was found to be medium but still sufficient to apply OI. Especially a small business's organizational infrastructure was highlighted as highly appropriate, whereas the networking capabilities were confirmed to be relatively low. It was identified that the technological infrastructure is also relatively lowly pronounced, but does not affect the applicability of OI. This was largely consistent with the reviewed literature.

B. Customer Involvement as the Most Attractive Approach

By saying that customer involvement is a very interesting approach, all participants confirmed the assumed appropriateness (e.g., [20]) of this approach for small businesses. There were no clear statements on the assumed key benefits. It was highlighted that innovative results can be enhanced and customer relations strengthened, which was not explicitly mentioned in the reviewed research and studies. As potential key requirements, the literature identified finding the right partner of similar company size and structure [27] and being able to provide technical expertise (ibid). The participants confirmed that businesses with similar size and structure might be easier and thus more successful to collaborate with than companies with different organizational structures and sizes. The participants also identified the right partner as a key requirement. The participants saw no difficulties in finding the right partner and, in accordance with Garcez et al. [27], furthermore highlighted the significance of trust for successful collaborations. In contrast to the literature, there were no explicit findings about the required technical expertise. However, it was found that technical expertise is high in small businesses, which was seen as a requirement by the previous literature (ibid). Thus, if required, small businesses can arguably provide technical expertise.

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