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The contributions of the relational view to understand the diffusion of a public policy for the promotion of cooperation between SMEs in Brazil Volume 37, issue 2, Avril-Juin 2020

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Authors
Olivier Coussi Institut d’Administration des Entreprises - Université de Poitiers Laboratoire CEREGE (EA 1722) Bat E1, 20, rue Guillaume VII le Troubadour, TSA 61116, 86073 Poitiers
Alsones Balestrin Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, UNISINOS Av. Dr. Nilo Peçanha, 1600 - Boa Vista, Porto Alegre - RS, 91330-002, Brésil
Kadigia Faccin Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, UNISINOS Av. Dr. Nilo Peçanha, 1600 - Boa Vista, Porto Alegre - RS, 91330-002, Brésil
Felipe Zarpelon Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, UNISINOS Av. Dr. Nilo Peçanha, 1600 - Boa Vista, Porto Alegre - RS, 91330-002, Brésil

The development of inter-firm cooperation is a major issue in government policies to support economic competitiveness. In order to optimize the spread and impact of these policies, the public authorities deploy specific mechanisms in which universities can play a central role. While the latter have every legitimacy to be active within the framework of support mechanisms for innovation or technology transfer, it seems less natural to involve them in operations outside these activities. We present the lessons learned from a longitudinal case study of an inter-firm cooperation program conducted in a state in southern Brazil through a partnership between the government and community universities in charge of its operational implementation. From a relational perspective, we analyze the determinants of this partnership in order to identify the relational rents produced by the networks of SMEs built into authentic territorial ecosystems : community access and propagation. We show that these rents are confronted with obstacles that constitute relational losses that must be minimized in order to optimize the effectiveness of the public policy pursued : inflexibility and distance from the target.

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