The role of Networking in Internationalization - The case of Swedish fashion firms’ internationalization

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Graduate School

Abstract: Research has shown that networking is a crucial factor for successful internationalization of firms. The role of both formal and informal networks has been stressed as essential to access networks abroad. This study investigates how Swedish fashion firms utilize their networks to facilitate their internationalization, based on a qualitative multiple case study conducted with six participating fashion companies. The purpose of the study is to gain a deeper understanding of networking within the fashion industry to facilitate internationalization for Swedish fashion firms, and also contribute to international business literature in this area. Our findings show that companies can achieve facilitated internationalization through becoming an insider in networks abroad. This because insidership enabled through networking with, for example, direct competitors, actors with the same customer base and employees, allows the companies to create new knowledge with their networks, share experiences and exploit market opportunities. It is also highlighted that firms need to focus their limited resources on networking with relevant networks. Moreover, it is found that companies can become too dependent on their network, mainly when using agents and distributors. In order to stay in control of the brand image, and because of the increasing significance of e-commerce, a shift has been created towards the importance of direct communication and networking with the end consumers. This is found to be the future of networking within the fashion industry, according to this study, since it also enables the companies to reach several markets at the same time. With this, the study adds on the existing literature by allowing for a more profound and combined understanding of the academic fields within networking and internationalization in the fashion industry.

  AT THIS PAGE YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE WHOLE ESSAY. (follow the link to the next page)