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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Janowicz-Panjaitan, Martyna & Noorderhaven, Niels G., 2008. "Formal and informal interorganizational learning within strategic alliances," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1337-1355, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:37:y:2008:i:8:p:1337-1355
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kim, Youngok & Lui, Steven S., 2015. "The impacts of external network and business group on innovation: Do the types of innovation matter?," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 68(9), pages 1964-1973.
    2. Joanne Oxley & Tetsuo Wada, 2009. "Alliance Structure and the Scope of Knowledge Transfer: Evidence from U.S.-Japan Agreements," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(4), pages 635-649, April.
    3. Walsh, John P. & Lee, You-Na & Nagaoka, Sadao, 2016. "Openness and innovation in the US: Collaboration form, idea generation and implementation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(8), pages 1660-1671.
    4. Kavusan, K., 2015. "Essays on capability development through alliances," Other publications TiSEM 8eb736a5-b217-4718-ac13-d, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    5. Simon Turner, 2013. "Absorptive Capacity: The Role of Communities of Practice," Working Papers wp444, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    6. 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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