Beyond size: tracing the development of a startup and medium sized company relationship and the influence on the business network


Medium-sized companies
relationship development
business network
size disparity

How to Cite

Dominidiato, M. (2023). Beyond size: tracing the development of a startup and medium sized company relationship and the influence on the business network. Piccola Impresa Small Business, (3).
Received 2023-07-24
Accepted 2023-11-28
Published 2023-12-31


Purpose. This research attempts to examine the development of a relationship between a startup and a medium-sized company, as concentrating on how it progresses from a basic buyer-seller interaction to a strategic partnership. The key goal is to understand the details of this relationship and its effect on the companies’ business network.

Design/methodology/approach. This study employed a longitudinal case study methodology, integrating in-depth interviews with key stakeholders from both a startup and a medium-sized company. A thorough knowledge of the relationship growth is achieved by examining the contacts, exchanges, and collaboration that have occurred throughout time.

Findings. The results of this study show that partnering a startup and a medium-sized business is possible when his possible to find a match  in terms of strategic direction. The relationship develops and deepens despite the inherent size differences as both sides see the possibility of mutual advantages and make use of their unique capabilities. In order to build a successful cooperation between firms of different sizes, the research underlines the need of a common vision, complementary business strategies.

Practical and Social implications. Despite their inherent disparities in size, this research reveals the practical implications of the interaction between a startup and a medium-sized business. Both sides need to understand the characteristics of these interactions in order to take use of their individual strengths and overcome any possible obstacles. Additionally, this research looks at the social consequences, emphasizing how cooperation and partnership between organizations of different sizes may promote innovation.

Originality of the study. This study is distinctive since it examines the dynamics of resource interaction between two businesses of different sizes. This study adds to the body of knowledge by shedding light on the elements that help a relationship change from a buyer-seller relationship to one that is more like a partnership. It also looks at how this relationship progression affects the connected network of businesses where both companies are active, providing fresh viewpoints on network dynamics in the context of different firm sizes.


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