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Boundaryless Management - Creating, transforming and using knowledge in inter-organizational collaboration. A literature review

Author

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  • Blomberg, Jesper

    () (Center for People and Organization)

  • Werr, Andreas

    () (Center for People and Organization)

Abstract

Current literature on organizations often argues that firms are becoming increasingly dependent on knowledge residing outside their own boundaries requiring organizations to increase their entrepreneurial abilities and make their boundaries more flexible and permeable. This paper reviews the literature on what might be called interorganizational knowledge work. Implied in this focus is an assumption of clear organizaitonal boundaries. Rather than taking these boundaries and their importance for granted, the current review, however, aims at relativizing these boundaries. By focusing the empirical phenomenon of collaboration between individuals in different organizations, four different streams of literature with different constructions of the organizational boundary and its importance were identified: the literature on learning in alliances and joint ventures, the literature on collaboration in industrial networks, the literature on social networks and communities of practice and finally the literature on geographical clusters and innovation systems. The above four streams of the literature are reviewed with a special focus on the following three questions: 1. What is the role of (organizational) boundaries in interorganizational knowledge work? 2. What do we know about how these boundaries can be overcome? 3. What are the implications for managing interorganizational knowledge work spelled out in the literature?

Suggested Citation

  • Blomberg, Jesper & Werr, Andreas, 2006. "Boundaryless Management - Creating, transforming and using knowledge in inter-organizational collaboration. A literature review," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Business Administration 2006:2, Stockholm School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhb:hastba:2006_002
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    File URL: http://swoba.hhs.se/hastba/papers/hastba2006_002.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jonathon N. Cummings, 2004. "Work Groups, Structural Diversity, and Knowledge Sharing in a Global Organization," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(3), pages 352-364, March.
    2. Autio, Erkko & Hameri, Ari-Pekka & Vuola, Olli, 2004. "A framework of industrial knowledge spillovers in big-science centers," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 107-126, January.
    3. Bernard L Simonin, 2004. "An empirical investigation of the process of knowledge transfer in international strategic alliances," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 35(5), pages 407-427, September.
    4. Andrew C. Inkpen, 2000. "Learning Through Joint Ventures: A Framework Of Knowledge Acquisition," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(7), pages 1019-1044, November.
    5. Tsang, Eric W. K., 1999. "A preliminary typology of learning in international strategic alliances," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 211-229, October.
    6. Mooweon Rhee, 2004. "Network Updating and Exploratory Learning Environment," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(6), pages 933-949, September.
    7. Soekijad, Maura & Andriessen, Erik, 2003. "Conditions for Knowledge Sharing in Competitive Alliances," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 578-587, October.
    8. Stephen P. Borgatti & Rob Cross, 2003. "A Relational View of Information Seeking and Learning in Social Networks," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 432-445, April.
    9. Robert M. Grant & Charles Baden-Fuller, 2004. "A Knowledge Accessing Theory of Strategic Alliances," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 61-84, January.
    10. Holmqvist, Mikael, 2003. "Intra- and interorganisational learning processes: an empirical comparison," Scandinavian Journal of Management, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 443-466, December.
    11. Julia Porter Liebeskind & Amalya Lumerman Oliver & Lynne G. Zucker & Marilynn B. Brewer, 1995. "Social Networks, Learning, and Flexibility: Sourcing Scientific Knowledge in New Biotechnology Firms," NBER Working Papers 5320, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Ritter, Thomas & Gemunden, Hans Georg, 2003. "Network competence: Its impact on innovation success and its antecedents," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 56(9), pages 745-755, September.
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    Keywords

    Interorganizational collaboration; Knowledge Management; Literature review;

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