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Informal cooperation in the US and Germany: cooperative managerial capitalism vs. competitive managerial capitalism in interfirm information trading

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  • Sattler, Henrik
  • Schrader, Stephan
  • Lüthje, Christian
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    Abstract

    Several empirical studies have shown that apparently competing companies cooperate extensively through an informal exchange of valuable information. Since international interfirm relations have become elementary in many markets, the informal information exchange across national borders gains significance. Cross-cultural discrepancies in information-trading patterns may impede the emergence of stable and intensive informal relations between companies of different countries. So far, however, the question of whether information trading patterns are similar across nations has remained widely unexplored. Therefore this research compares the informal exchange of technical information among 438 managers in US and German steel companies. We assumed that a greater inclination to cooperate predominates in German firms (cooperative managerial capitalism) in comparison to their American counterparts (competitive managerial capitalism). Nevertheless, the findings indicate a more complex situation. Managers of German companies are found to interact more frequently than US managers with colleagues in other companies. However, in contradiction to the generally accepted assertion, the information exchanged among German firms proves to be of less importance to the recipient company than in the US.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Business Review.

    Volume (Year): 12 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 3 (June)
    Pages: 273-295

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:12:y:2003:i:3:p:273-295

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    Keywords: Cooperation Interfirm relations Information trading Cross-cultural differences USA Germany;

    References

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    1. Ran Lachman & Albert Nedd & Bob Hinings, 1994. "Analyzing Cross-National Management and Organizations: A Theoretical Framework," Management Science, INFORMS, INFORMS, vol. 40(1), pages 40-55, January.
    2. Carter, Anne P., 1989. "Knowhow trading as economic exchange," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 155-163, June.
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    Cited by:
    1. Schwartz, Michael & Hornych, Christoph, 2010. "Informal networking: An overview of the literature and an agenda for future research," Jena Contributions to Economic Research 2010,1, University of Applied Sciences Jena, Department of Business Administration.
    2. Christoph Barmeyer & Ulrike Mayrhofer, 2010. "Does Culture Shape the Balance of Power in Multinational Companies ? The Case of the EADS Group," Post-Print halshs-00638849, HAL.
    3. Hanvanich, Sangphet & Richards, Malika & Miller, Stewart R. & Cavusgil, S. Tamer, 2005. "Technology and the effects of cultural differences and task relatedness: A study of shareholder value creation in domestic and international joint ventures," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 397-414, August.
    4. Bonte, Werner & Keilbach, Max, 2005. "Concubinage or marriage? Informal and formal cooperations for innovation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 23(3-4), pages 279-302, April.
    5. Werner Bönte & Lars Wiethaus, 2005. "Knowledge Transfer in Buyer-Supplier Relationships – When It (Not) Occurs," RWI Discussion Papers, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung 0034, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
    6. Chizema, Amon & Buck, Trevor, 2006. "Neo-institutional theory and institutional change: Towards empirical tests on the "Americanization" of German executive pay," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 488-504, October.
    7. Barmeyer, Christoph & Mayrhofer, Ulrike, 2008. "The contribution of intercultural management to the success of international mergers and acquisitions: An analysis of the EADS group," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 28-38, February.
    8. Manuela Gussoni, . "The determinants of inter-¯rms R&D cooperation and partner selection. A literature overview," Discussion Papers 2009/86, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

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