This article is based on case studies and interviews with key technical and top managers in Japanese SMEs （small and medium sized enterprises）. Through the analysis of the companies, the author developed a four-stage model and found that three points are vital to allow Japanese SMEs to promote partnerships. The analysis suggests that SMEs can grow step by step through fostering diverse partnerships with other organizations. Also, for SMEs to succeed in partnering with other organizations and survive competition, they need to continually clarify and foster their own core competence and linkage capability.
日本福祉大学経済論集 37 1-11, 2008-08-31