Abstract When an economy goes through a transition from a closed to an open market economy, the agents that operate in it face a need to reconsider their position in the business environment and productive function. To function, organisations require resources they do not always have at their disposal. This scarcity makes that organisations interact with each other and exert influence to obtain the resources they need. Organisations, thus, are connected through dependence relations that, at the meso-level of analysis, make up a constellation of suppliers, intermediate firms, distributors/clients, public agencies and financiers. The restructuring of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to a context of market openness is conditioned more by rsource-constraints and perception and processing of information than that of their larger counterparts. As a result, their efficient boundary choices are influenced by how surrounding players restructure, while the restructuring process itself -from a meso-level perspective- can be interpreted as a bargaining process. To be able to restructure or, differently, to change their dependence relations, firms make use of th latitude as comprised in the relations that constitute the meso-level framework to which -in a context in transition- the impact of the opening of markets on the established governance structures should be added. This thesis shows that SMEs that held a comparatively strong bargaining position at the outset of the trasition were better able to restructure successfully than their weaker counterparts. The impact of the transition did not prove to icrease firms' latitude directly but needs to be taken in account to come to a more complete understanding of SMEs' restructuring processes.