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Learning and Innovation in International Strategic Alliances: An Empirical Test of the Role of Trust and Tacitness

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  • Bo Bernhard Nielsen
  • Sabina Nielsen

Abstract

Drawing on knowledge-based, organizational learning, and social capital perspectives, we propose and test an integrated framework in which knowledge tacitness and trust act as mediating mechanisms in the relationship between partner characteristics and alliance outcomes. We distinguish between learning and innovation outcomes and suggest that while innovation may result from alliance learning, it can also be created by combining separate knowledge bases "without" learning from each other. We contend that tacitness and trust play differing roles in the pursuit of learning and innovation and test this proposition on a sample of 120 international strategic alliances. Copyright (c) Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2009.

Suggested Citation

  • Bo Bernhard Nielsen & Sabina Nielsen, 2009. "Learning and Innovation in International Strategic Alliances: An Empirical Test of the Role of Trust and Tacitness," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(6), pages 1031-1056, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:46:y:2009:i:6:p:1031-1056
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    1. Wang, Chao-Hung & Hsu, Li-Chang, 2014. "Building exploration and exploitation in the high-tech industry: The role of relationship learning," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 331-340.
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    4. Liu, C.-L.E., 2012. "An investigation of relationship learning in cross-border buyer–supplier relationships: The role of trust," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 311-327.
    5. Liu, Chia-Ling (Eunice) & Zhang, Yingying, 2014. "Learning process and capability formation in cross-border buyer–supplier relationships: A qualitative case study of Taiwanese technological firms," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 718-730.
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    9. George O. White & Orhun Guldiken & Thomas A. Hemphill & Wu He & Mehdi Sharifi Khoobdeh, 2016. "Trends in International Strategic Management Research From 2000 to 2013: Text Mining and Bibliometric Analyses," Management International Review, Springer, vol. 56(1), pages 35-65, February.
    10. Margherita Balconi & Valeria Lorenzi & Pier Paolo Saviotti & Antonella Zucchella, 2013. "Cognitive distance in research collaborations," DEM Working Papers Series 051, University of Pavia, Department of Economics and Management.
    11. Jing Zhang & Charles Baden-Fuller, 2010. "The Influence of Technological Knowledge Base and Organizational Structure on Technology Collaboration," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(4), pages 679-704, June.
    12. Ho, Mia Hsiao-Wen & Wang, Fatima, 2015. "Unpacking knowledge transfer and learning paradoxes in international strategic alliances: Contextual differences matter," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 287-297.
    13. Müller, Dirk, 2010. "Alliance Coordination, Dysfunctions, and the Protection of Idiosyncratic Knowledge in Strategic Learning Alliances," EconStor Preprints 41039, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
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    15. Li, Linwei & Jiang, Feifei & Pei, Yunlong & Jiang, Nengqian, 2017. "Entrepreneurial orientation and strategic alliance success: The contingency role of relational factors," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 46-56.
    16. Yannis A. HAJIDIMITRIOU & Nikolaos S. SKLAVOUNOS & Konstantinos P. ROTSIOS, 2012. "The Impact Of Trust On Knowledge Transfer In International Business Systems," Scientific Bulletin - Economic Sciences, University of Pitesti, vol. 11(2), pages 39-49.
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    19. Kalm, Matias, 2012. "The Impact of Networking on Firm Performance - Evidence from Small and Medium-Sized Firms in Emerging Technology Areas," Discussion Papers 1278, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    20. Shameen Prashantham & Charles Dhanaraj, 2010. "The Dynamic Influence of Social Capital on the International Growth of New Ventures," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(6), pages 967-994, September.
    21. Du, Juana & Williams, Christopher, 2017. "Innovative Projects Between MNE Subsidiaries and Local Partners in China: Exploring Locations and Inter-organizational Trust," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 16-31.
    22. Nielsen, Bo Bernhard, 2014. "Construct measurement in management research: The importance of match between levels of theory and measurement," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 403-406.

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