Handbook on International Alliance and Network Research
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Handbook on International Alliance and Network Research

  • Research Handbooks in Business and Management series

Edited by Jorma Larimo, Niina Nummela and Tuija Mainela

Over the past few decades, alliance and networks have been generally examined individually. This Handbook sheds new light on this research by combining the two topics and focuses on highlighting their similarities. The expert contributors discuss topics surrounding the state-of-the-art in alliance and network research, conceptual development in alliance and network research and empirical evidence of international alliances and networks. They combine diverse types of studies including literature reviews, conceptual papers and empirical studies in order to provide the reader with a comprehensive understanding of the topic.
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Chapter 8: Knowledge transfer and organizational learning processes in international strategic alliances: the determinants, consequences, and moderators

Mia Hsiao-Wen Ho and Pervez N. Ghauri

Abstract

This chapter reconsiders the determinants, consequences, and moderators of knowledge transfer and organizational learning processes in international strategic alliances by highlighting the contextual differences between partners. We argue institutional distance and realized absorptive capacity as critical moderators in the processes of knowledge transfer and organizational learning, which in turn, determine the alliance performance. We also unpack the transferring and learning processes by demonstrating how the transferor firm’s behavior towards knowledge transfer influences the recipient firm’s learning mechanisms. We propose relationship quality as an important determinant of the transferor firm’s protective behavior, which will subsequently affect the level of knowledge acquisition by the recipient firm. Yet knowledge acquisition will be significantly reduced if the negative impact of knowledge protection is intensified by large institutional distance between alliance partners. We further assert that an alliance performance does not necessarily rely on the level of knowledge acquisition but, rather, is dependent on the firm’s realized absorptive capacity to apply sufficient, acquired knowledge to the alliance context.

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