Collaborative Networks as a Mechanism for Strengthening Competitiveness: Small and Medium Enterprises and Non-state Actors in Tanzania as Cases
Industrial organizations are increasingly facing more challenges in the market and society. These challenges include the scarcity of resources, short delivery time requirement, frequent emergence of new technologies, demand for wide variety of competencies, and limited availability of up-to-date experts. Coping with these challenges requires continuous restructuring and managing changes in organizations. However, only large organizations can afford to institute these changes. It also requires continuous innovation in deployment of emerging technologies and management concepts. Thus, due to their small size, lack of competitive capital and inability to acquire complex opportunities, majority of SMEs and non state actors (NSA) find it difficult to cope with the required speed of change. However, both research and practice have shown that dynamic time/cost-effective and fluid creation of temporary collaborative networks wrought by ICTs is an enabler for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and NSAs in quest of enhancing competitiveness in the marketplace. This article contributes to the understanding of the challenges related to the establishment of collaborative networks of organizations in developing economies and proposes a customizable model for establishing those networks.
Key Terms: Collaborative networks, developing economies, ICTs, SMEs, non state actors, collaborative capital