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Formal and informal interorganizational learning within strategic alliances

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  • Janowicz-Panjaitan, Martyna
  • Noorderhaven, Niels G.

Abstract

Learning behaviors of employees can be either formalized (in the form of programmed events and visits) or informal (in the form of spontaneous interaction and knowledge sharing). We investigate the effect that both types of learning behaviors have on interorganizational learning of substantive knowledge in the context of an alliance. We also look at the effects that the two forms of learning behavior have on each other. We find that while informal learning behaviors have a consistently positive effect on the learning outcome and on formal learning behaviors, this is not so for formal learning behaviors. The effect of formal behaviors on both learning outcome and informal behaviors, while positive, diminishes at higher levels. This leads us to conclude that although both informal and formal learning behaviors foster interorganizational learning, too much formalization obstructs learning. Similarly, while formally programmed behaviors do encourage informal learning behaviors of the boundary spanners, an excess of formalization stifles them.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

Volume (Year): 37 (2008)
Issue (Month): 8 (September)
Pages: 1337-1355

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Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:37:y:2008:i:8:p:1337-1355

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol

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  1. Cowan, Robin & David, Paul A & Foray, Dominique, 2000. "The Explicit Economics of Knowledge Codification and Tacitness," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 211-53, June.
  2. Dahl, Michael S. & Pedersen, Christian O.R., 2004. "Knowledge flows through informal contacts in industrial clusters: myth or reality?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1673-1686, December.
  3. Marjorie A Lyles & Jane E Salk, 1996. "Knowledge Acquisition from Foreign Parents in International Joint Ventures: An Empirical Examination in the Hungarian Context," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 27(4), pages 877-903, December.
  4. X Martin & R Salomon, 2003. "Knowledge transfer capacity and its implications for the theory of the multinational corporation," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 34(4), pages 356-373, July.
  5. Eric D. Darr & Linda Argote & Dennis Epple, 1995. "The Acquisition, Transfer, and Depreciation of Knowledge in Service Organizations: Productivity in Franchises," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(11), pages 1750-1762, November.
  6. Parkhe, Arvind, 1998. "Understanding trust in international alliances," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 219-240, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Vijver, M.A.R. van de, 2009. "Collaboration in Buyer-Supplier Relationships," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3256118, Tilburg University.
  2. 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.

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