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This paper examines the search and selection processes used by Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) who seek partners for international strategic alliances. Its focus is on how alliances are established and how a firm's social network structure can influence this process. In the search for success, one major element must be the initial choice of a suitable partner (Shenkar & Zeira, 1992; Barkema & Vermeulen, 1997; Gulati, 1998: Inkpen 2001) and research by Glaister & Buckley (1999) shows that the quality and extensiveness of the evaluation of the partner prior to selection plays a role in success. Nevertheless, relatively little is still known about the way in which partners are actually selected.
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