Strategic alliances and development of intellectual capital: a study of technology-based SMEs

António Ferreira, Mário Franco*, Heiko Haase

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: From an absorptive capacity perspective, this study aims to analyse the influence of strategic alliances on the development of intellectual capital. Design/methodology/approach: A quantitative study was chosen, with data on technology-based small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Portugal, leading to 257 valid answers. Findings: The results obtained from a structural equation model show that learning/knowledge and efficiency as important functions underlying strategic alliances exert a strong influence on intellectual (human, structural and relational) capital. Practical implications: These outcomes reveal that strategic alliances are a way for SMEs to overcome resource constraints in terms of intellectual capital, which represents an important implication for business practice. This study provides particular insights into how and to what extent alliance-specific mechanisms and functions lead to which improvement and effect. Originality/value: The study underlines the importance of strategic alliances for technology-based SMEs. In this way, this study adds to the scarce in the field providing evidence for the SMEs sector. Therefore, strategic alliances and intellectual capital should be considered two key tools for this firm segment and worthy of further research in absorptive capacity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1644-1671
Number of pages28
JournalInternational Journal of Organizational Analysis
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2022


  • Absorptive capacity
  • Intellectual capital
  • Knowledge
  • Learning
  • Performance
  • Small and medium-sized enterprises
  • SMEs
  • Strategic alliances
  • Technology-based firm


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