Building Competitive Advantage of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises through Knowledge Acquisition and Sharing

  • Ikechukwu A. Diugwu
Keywords: competitive advantage, small and medium enterprises, knowledge sharing, knowledge acquisition, learning, partnerships, networking


The level of success enjoyed by an organisation is dependent on its competitive advantage over its competitors. A firm’s competitive advantage is positively correlated to its level of knowledge on existing market conditions, and ability to adapt and exploit the prevailing market conditions. However, discourse in existing literature on ways through which small and medium enterprises (SMEs), often constrained by lack of resources, can acquire requisite knowledge needed to build competitive advantage and for continued existence are minimal. This paper discusses how SMEs could enhance their skills and competitiveness by leveraging on the resources and knowledge inherent in networks and partnership arrangements. Specifically, it explains how these arrangements could be utilized to develop knowledge resources and capabilities. This work is theoretical in nature and relies heavily on the review of pertinent existing literature on knowledge acquisition, competitive advantage, networks, partnerships, and performance. Organisations, especially SMEs, the paper argues, can acquire and develop knowledge resources and capabilities via networks and partnerships. The acquired knowledge and capabilities can then be leveraged to create competitive advantage for the enterprises.

Author Biography

Ikechukwu A. Diugwu

Department of Project Management Technology, Federal University of Technology, P. M. B 65, Minna, Niger State, Nigeria Tel.: +234 80 7415 5306; email:,

His research interest is in the area of performance improvement strategy in organisations, especially small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)

Ikechukwu A. Diugwu holds a PhD (Coventry University, UK), an MSc in Engineering and Manufacturing Management (Coventry University, UK) and a BEng (Hons) in Chemical Engineering (Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu, Nigeria).

Articles and Research papers