Characteristics of Strategic Subcontracting Relations of Industrial SMEs


  • Maria Vasilska Institute of Entrepreneurship, University of National and World Economy, Sofia, Bulgaria



small and medium-sized enterprises, entrepreneurship, strategic subcontracting, competitive advantages, contractors, subcontractors


The paper explores and analyses the activities of industrial small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), working as subcontractors, that have built sustainable relationships with at least one of their clients. It focuses on the importance of such dealings for SMEs that enables them to overcome their inherent weaknesses, to enhance competitiveness and to realize promising development. For that reason, subcontractors usually seek to build strategic partnerships with contractors. The paper reveals the main characteristics of the buyer-supplier relations that could be defined as strategic to the subcontracting SMEs, such as: to be sustainable over time, to provide access to key resources and innovations, to lead to acquisition of new competitive advantages and growth, etc. In addition, the paper presents some key traits of the relations that mark the existence of a mutual strategic partnership between subcontractors and their clients. The data and methods used in the paper include a study of literature sources, an investigation of available research findings, results of the author’s individual research and expert observations, as well as data from a collective research project.