Network ties and business relationships – their effect on the profile of born global companies: Two case studies, Anoto AB and Artingence Ltd.

Nadia Dolmark

Student thesis: Master thesis


The development of Information Technology has boomed since the early days of computing. It is now a global phenomenon that connects people both professionally and socially. This colours the demands on businesses in the modern world and orientates many start up companies to have a global mindset. This thesis looks to explore how network ties and business relationships effect the profile of born global (BG) companies, and has been investigated through theoretical study and on-site interviews. Two case companies are investigated. The first is Anoto, an official born global company started in 1999, and the second is Artingence, a start-up company founded in 2008. Anoto is a Swedish company that has developed the digital pen and paper. These gadgets were designed to facilitate the transformation from handwritten text to digital format. The thesis will explore to what extent the case companies possess a born global profile. Among other things, they employed the use of creating partnerships to further their success on the international Market. Artingence is a British based start-up company that has developed potentially radical solutions for the call centre industry. They have invented software operators known as artificially intelligent directed agents (AIDA™), which are more cost efficient than humans. The literature revealed six dimensions of BGs and an overlap with the network and relationship management theories. In particular, three of the BGs dimensions had a strong overlap and two had a weak. The two profiles were scored on the different dimensions of the network and relationship management and BG theory. The scoring was used to test the three hypotheses proposed in this thesis: H1. Artingence is a born global company and will have similar total relative strength compared to Anoto, measured on the born global parameters. The scoring revealed that Artingence scored higher than Anoto in the BG parameters, thereby supporting H1. H2., areas of high literature overlap will show similar relative strengths and H3, areas of weak literature overlap will show dissimilar relative strengths, were both confirmed. This means that high and weak overlaps of literature will direct if the BG profiles are similar or dissimilar. For the management team, a stronger focus on building and strengthening network ties will drive born global companies to successful performance. The findings must, however be put into perspective, seeing that only two in-depth case studies were documented. The statistical significance of the findings must be further investigated. Finally, the importance of structural holes as an element of the BG profile and development could add further to the research topic.

EducationsMSc in Management of Innovation and Business Development, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2010
Number of pages131