Title: The reconfiguration of practical knowledge in competitive alliances

Authors: Caroline Emberson, John Storey

Addresses: Centre for Human Resources and Change Management (HRCM), Open University Business School, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, UK. ' Centre for Innovation, Knowledge and Development (IKD), Open University Business School, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, UK

Abstract: The nature and value of knowledge transfer and inter-organisational learning processes within cooperative alliances are well known. Less attention, however, has been paid to inter-organisational learning processes within |competitive collaborations|. Particularly, the nature and extent of information system use within inter-organisational knowledge management practices has been under-explored. In this paper, we use a micro-political change lens to reveal the nature of inter-organisational learning and practical knowledge transformation. Drawing upon two case studies of competitive alliances in the retail sector, our findings suggest that inter-organisational learning and practical organisational knowledge transfer is uneven at an operational level. We investigate the relationship between value creation and inter-organisational information system use in competitive collaboration processes and argue that further development of competitive alliance theory at the sub-organisational level is required.

Keywords: strategic alliance networks; competitive collaboration; buyer–supplier relationships; practical organisational knowledge; UK retailing; United Kingdom; knowledge transfer; inter-organisational learning; knowledge management; knowledge transformation; value creation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJKMS.2010.030788

International Journal of Knowledge Management Studies, 2010 Vol.4 No.2, pp.114 - 131

Published online: 05 Jan 2010 *

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