Interfirm Cooperative: Organizational Form as an Enabler of SMEs’ in Exploration and Exploitation Activities

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Andrés Felipe Camargo
Twente University
Tuesday, 28 February 2017 - 12:00

Cooperatives (coops) play an important role in both economic and social development. Since the nineteenth century, coops have been providing goods and services to their members, but potentially also other customers and suppliers. But nowadays, coops face big challenges, coops address responding to the society needs and market failures. At the same time, they are solving problems for customers, members and society in innovative ways.

On the other Hand, SMEs need to deal with scarcity of resources in uncertain environments, while suffering from different barriers and constrains to growth. SMEs have to think about achieving goals to perform better in the short term or in the long term. In this regard, Interfirm coops and SMEs members have to improve existing capabilities and develop new ones, to improve their competitive position. Interfirm Coop and SMEs members carefully need to consider how to balance: exploration and exploitation activities.  Finding such a balance is difficult for large firms, let alone SMEs.

This project draws on concepts such as cooperatives, inter-organizational relationships and ambidexterity.  The Primary objective in this proposal is to study the positive influence that Interfirm coops can have in supporting industrial SMEs, in particular for exploration and exploitation activities, especially in the context of Colombian printing industry.


Ciudad Politécnica de la Innovación
Edificio 8E, Acceso J, Planta 4ª (Sala Debate. Cubo Rojo)
Universidad Politécnica de Valencia | Camino de Vera s/n

Short CV: 

Andrés Felipe Camargo Benavides is a PhD candidate at the Netherlands Institute for Knowledge Intensive Entrepreneurship (NIKOS) at the University of Twente. He investigates inter-organizational relationships between co-operatives and members, in particular by studying the role that co-operatives play in supporting exploration and exploitation activities of their members. Before starting his PhD research, he worked in the printing industry and he was involved in consulting for entrepreneurship, women entrepreneurship, and social innovation. He holds a bachelor degree in Business Management from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogota, Colombia, and a MBA degree from EAE Business School in collaboration with Universidad Camilo José Cela, Spain.