Theories of knowledge management in alliances between competitors highlight the role of the alliance as a vehicle in a competition for knowledge. Vertical publicprivate partnerships face a different institutional framework where competition for knowledge gives way to cooperation. This paper reports on a case study of the evolution of knowledge management practices in a public agency engaged in vertical outsourcing partnerships. The agency evolved its contracting towards alliances as it sought better outsourcing outcomes, this translated into new organizational arrangements where arms-lengths hierarchical processes of knowledge management was progressively replaced by horizontal, democratic processes. Underpinning this evolution was a parallel shift in thinking about knowledge, from a conceptualization of knowledge as an asset to be managed, to a view of knowledge as a tool supporting knowing in practic
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