The Effect of Inter-firm Cooperation and Knowledge Sharing on Firm Competitiveness of SMEs: Moderating Effects of Environmental Factors

중소기업의 협력활동과 지식공유가 기업경쟁력에 미치는 영향: 기업환경요인의 조절효과

  • Received : 2012.11.05
  • Accepted : 2012.12.18
  • Published : 2012.12.01


Recognizing the significance of inter-firm cooperation for firm's sustainable competitive advantage in today's business environment, this study investigates the effects of inter-firm cooperation and knowledge sharing on firm competitiveness based on 327 Korean small and medium sized enterprises. We also examines a mediating effects of knowledge sharing on the relationship between inter-firm cooperation and firm competitiveness and moderating effects of environmental factors on this relationship. The environmental factors are conceptualized by intensity of market competition and technological change. The main findings of the study are as follows: First, the paper found that inter-firm cooperation was positively associated with firm competitiveness while there was also a positive relationship between knowledge sharing and firm competitiveness. Second, it also shows that knowledge sharing partially mediated the relationship of inter-firm cooperation and firm competitiveness. Third, we also found that technological change had negative moderating effects on the relationship between inter-firm cooperation and firm competitiveness. This study suggests that understanding of inter-firm cooperation with consideration of environmental characteristics are required for better firm competitiveness.