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

  • Sattler, Henrik
  • Schrader, Stephan
  • Lüthje, Christian
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    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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    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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    1. Schrader, Stephan, 1995. "Gaining advantage by 'leaking' information: Informal information trading," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 156-163, June.
    2. repec:ucp:bkecon:9780226316529 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Schrader, Stephan, 1991. "Informal technology transfer between firms: Cooperation through information trading," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 153-170, April.
    4. Teece, David J., 1993. "Profiting from technological innovation: Implications for integration, collaboration, licensing and public policy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 112-113, April.
    5. Arvind Parkhe, 1991. "Interfirm Diversity, Organizational Learning, and Longevity in Global Strategic Alliances," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 22(4), pages 579-601, December.
    6. Ran Lachman & Albert Nedd & Bob Hinings, 1994. "Analyzing Cross-National Management and Organizations: A Theoretical Framework," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(1), pages 40-55, January.
    7. von Hippel, Eric, 1987. "Cooperation between rivals: Informal know-how trading," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 291-302, December.
    8. Mansfield, Edwin, 1985. "How Rapidly Does New Industrial Technology Leak Out?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(2), pages 217-23, December.
    9. Carter, Anne P., 1989. "Knowhow trading as economic exchange," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 155-163, June.
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