Virtual enterprise formation in the context of a sustainable partner network

Igor Polyantchikov, Eduard Shevtshenko, Tatjana Karaulova, Taivo Kangilaski, Luis M. Camarinha-Matos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - Various networked organizational forms already exist in the market today, however, all of them share the same problem - lack of fast and objective procedures for partners' selection when addressing a particular project. The purpose of this paper is to solve such problems by offering an alternative to the existing global market layout, dominated by large corporations. Design/methodology/approach - This research belongs to the category "fuzzy decision making and multi-Attributive decision making," since it is using methodologies such as the analytical hierarchy process (AHP), the fuzzy-AHP approach, and the Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution. Findings - The authors defend that appropriate partner selection is a vital success factor in any collaboration. Research limitations/implications - The authors have designed a sustainable partner network solution for the field of machinery. Nevertheless, the proposed approach is adaptable to other fields also, whereas the focal player or project owner selects the best partner based on a set of criteria. Practical implications - The paper includes a feasibility case study for the approval of findings, where several small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from the field of machining collaborate to achieve a common goal. Social implications - The research focuses on production enterprises (especially for SMEs) and is intended to improve their competitiveness. Small enterprises combining into a network makes it possible to compete with large corporations and helps to decrease project initiation time and project realization risks. Originality/value - The main idea is to collect information about the available resources of SMEs into a new temporary entity and to utilize those resources for the realization of the tasks of a particularly large project, while meeting customer expectations. In addition, this work also suggests a calculation tool for faster partner evaluation (assessment) based on various criteria for each particular project.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1446-1468
Number of pages23
JournalIndustrial Management and Data Systems
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


  • Collaborative network
  • Partner efficiency index
  • Sustainable partner network
  • Virtual enterprise


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