Title: Rent-seeking behaviour: knowledge transfer as informal control mechanism in high technology alliances

Authors: Khalid M. Bhatti; Saba Khalid

Addresses: Department of Management, School of Business and Economics, University of Management and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan ' Department of Management, College of Business Administration, University of Sharjah, P.O. 27272, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Abstract: This study focuses on the knowledge transfer rent-seeking behaviour of MNCs and aims to analyse how MNCs safeguard the alliance by utilising knowledge transfer as an informal control mechanism. Therefore, this study underlines the notion that, as contracts are inherently incomplete, alliance relationships need to maintain mutual dependence based on control mechanisms, in addition to a contract. The alliance relationship of the focal-firm STMicroelectronics and its alliance partners Nokia and Ericsson in the semiconductor industry is examined using qualitative data collected through semi-structured face-to-face interviews. The findings highlight mutual dependence through inter-firm knowledge sharing in incomplete contracts. The study confirms the knowledge transfer rent-seeking behaviour of the partner firms when the strategic motive is to transfer knowledge with the objective of creating synergy and mutual dependence. Lastly, the findings establish knowledge transfer as a control mechanism in alliances.

Keywords: knowledge sharing; strategic alliances; inter-firm control mechanisms; syncretic rent-seeking; dependence; focal firm.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBG.2021.111957

International Journal of Business and Globalisation, 2021 Vol.27 No.1, pp.15 - 31

Received: 13 Apr 2018
Accepted: 05 Jul 2018

Published online: 22 Dec 2020 *

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