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Learning and development processes in inter-organisational collaborations

By Anna Goussevskaia


It has long been recognised that inter-organisational collaborations have great potential for learning and knowledge creation, although there has been very limited attention paid to the way in which organisations actually create new knowledge jointly. The present study contributes to this area of research, and examines the processes that facilitate and constrain new knowledge creation in inter­-organisational collaboration. It draws upon five longitudinal case studies of inter-­organisational collaborations across different sectors: pesticides, biotechnology, life sciences, engineering manufacturing, and software development. The study conceptualises inter-organisational learning as production and re-production of inter-­organisational rules that govern inter-organisational relationship, and facilitate and shape joint knowledge creation. The study advances understanding of the mechanisms underlying inter-organisational learning which rely on such aspects of collaboration as the nature of inter-partner interactions, interdependency between collaborating organisations, and power balance among partners. The longitudinal analysis of inter-organisational learning in the course of collaboration development also contributes to understanding of the relationship between inter-organisational learning and collaboration dynamics. The findings indicate that inter-organisational learning can have positive, as well as negative, effects on collaboration development. The results also suggest that inter-organisational learning closely co­evolves with the developmental dynamics of collaboration, meaning that inter-­organisational learning is not only a product of collaboration development, but is also a force capable of shaping it

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