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How knowledge attributes influence alliance governance choices: A theory development note

  • Contractor, Farok J.
  • Ra, Wonchan
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    This note develops theory regarding how attributes of corporate knowledge influence the selection of alliance governance mode. Different types of corporate knowledge are placed on a spectrum between a classic public good and deeply embedded knowledge. Hypotheses are developed regarding knowledge characteristics such as transfer costs, consequences of appropriation, observability, information asymmetry between negotiating partners, the difficulty of valuing knowledge, and the "disclosure dilemma." Next, hypotheses are presented on the choice of alliance governance mode as determined by knowledge attributes (codification, newness, complexity, and teachability) and partner characteristics (such as knowledge absorptive capacity). These testable propositions should make for fruitful empirical studies on the relatively little researched area of alliance governance modal choice.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Management.

    Volume (Year): 8 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 11-27

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:intman:v:8:y:2002:i:1:p:11-27
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    1. Ingemar Dierickx & Karel Cool, 1989. "Asset Stock Accumulation and Sustainability of Competitive Advantage," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(12), pages 1504-1511, December.
    2. Williamson, Oliver E, 1979. "Transaction-Cost Economics: The Governance of Contractural Relations," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 233-61, October.
    3. Ingemar Dierickx & Karel Cool, 1989. "Asset Stock Accumulation and the Sustainability of Competitive Advantage: Reply," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(12), pages 1514-1514, December.
    4. Maskell, Peter & Malmberg, Anders, 1999. "Localised Learning and Industrial Competitiveness," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(2), pages 167-85, March.
    5. Balakrishnan, Srinivasan & Koza, Mitchell P., 1993. "Information asymmetry, adverse selection and joint-ventures : Theory and evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 99-117, January.
    6. Mowery, David C. & Oxley, Joanne E. & Silverman, Brian S., 1998. "Technological overlap and interfirm cooperation: implications for the resource-based view of the firm," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 507-523, September.
    7. Bernard L Simonin, 1999. "Transfer of Marketing Know-How in International Strategic Alliances: An Empirical Investigation of the Role and Antecedents of Knowledge Ambiguity," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 30(3), pages 463-490, September.
    8. Jay B. Barney, 1986. "Strategic Factor Markets: Expectations, Luck, and Business Strategy," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(10), pages 1231-1241, October.
    9. Oxley, Joanne E., 1999. "Institutional environment and the mechanisms of governance: the impact of intellectual property protection on the structure of inter-firm alliances," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 283-309, March.
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