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Features Of Networking in Companies

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Network can be defined by the variety of members and links between them. Nature, quantity and quality of exchanges depend on actors and their relationships. Diversity of contacts is an important factor of complex network. It mixes social and professional relationships such as business contacts, friendships, financial institutions, government authorities … Relations can be with other SMEs but also with bigger companies and universities. This large network allows small companies to improve accessibility to external resources and knowledges that they don’t have inside their organization. It gives also market and finance information, legitimacy. Heterogeneity of contacts increase number of feedbacks for a firm, the amount of resources and increase the range of data. Network centralizes all different means.

First of all, we have personal contacts who can provide resources and a social, emotional support as when someone decides to take risks and not follows classic rules. They give information, advices but also a financial support. Family is one of them, such as members of another company and not necessary in the same position. Relationships are really strong, so it creates a safety net, a foundation for the firm. It is an easy help and a first opinion. There are friends too, acquaintances or previous working contacts. We can extend our network with own contacts of all these persons and as well create a more diversify and broad net.

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Then, we can define business contacts which are strong but informal links and based on mutual knowledges. It’s mainly with people with equal status. It comprises customers, suppliers and competitors. Customers give general and specific information to know market forces and actual evolution. Firms interact with them to have directly answers, new ideas and be competitive. They provide solutions to specific problems. It’s a first support and after, the company will find the way to deliver it. They can create partnerships to gather service of production and consumption of the organization.

Suppliers links are formal, based on friendship. They sell goods and services to companies, they possess equipment and information about customer needs. They give information of the market to be competitive with others, so a good relationship allows to improve business performance. A link with competitors is weak and informal but assures variability of prices. Moreover, they can share equipment and information about customer credit-worthiness. They are both competitors and collaborators for common benefits ( vert). These three actors provide new ideas related to business and products. But also, both general and specific information of the market and concurrence. They share resources and capabilities to take mutually advantages of their collaboration with exchanges based on trust. For example, gathering information for a technology development. Key suppliers and customers provide production resources essential for growth of SMEs.

Network acts as a bridge between suppliers, customers and buyers. The latter facilitates use of contracts with customers such as comprehensiveness of offerings, level of revenue, number of partnerships for delivery. Besides these actors, others business contacts provide benefits as commercial partners, capitalists or whether professional service organizations. They give access to information of people to introduce and then, validate strategy of development and products. They support business management with advices, resources like for tax issues. Moreover, they can promote business by doing advertising and giving providers of resources. They provide they too market information. External resources are crucial for the development process of products and market, for example by suggesting new ideas that no one inside the organization thought before. It enables financial success, the rapidity of growth, adaptiveness and innovation“.

Partnerships are based in trust and it’s a long-term relation to cooperate. Alliances allow to gain and maintain resources at limited cost and without spending to much time and energy. Companies will confirm their market position and have possibility to generate more benefits. Strong relations provide advantages to other organizations. Interactions and connections between all contacts create a social capital where trust is the main point. Non-opportunistic behavior is the key and they keep secret about business and personal staff. Social networking is not only socialization. It should be strategic by selecting and focusing on people who can contribute to increase performance and thus growth of the company. It supports to accelerate spread of new ideas and technologies, and acceptation from a range of people with different origins, culture and localizations. Social relations allow the learning process between contacts despite multiple communication and the private-public divide. Effective network is an asset for innovation by providing financial and humans resources needed and not present in SMEs. Actors more powerful can change intention of others to obtain what they want. It’s a type of manipulation that I find unfair because it’s not always justified and to a positive direction.


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