Title: Helping to learn: governance of knowledge-sharing in the Aurora preferred suppliers alliance network

Authors: Megan Woods, Rob Hecker

Addresses: School of Management, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 16, Hobart, Tasmania, 7001, Australia. ' School of Management, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 16, Hobart, Tasmania, 7001, Australia

Abstract: The learning benefits offered by strategic alliances make the effective governance of knowledge-sharing between collaborative partners a key element of managing partnership networks. This research explored the question of how a firm|s governance of its alliance network facilitates knowledge-sharing about effective collaboration between the hub or broker firm and network members. The study examined the operation of Aurora Energy|s preferred suppliers alliance network between 1992 and 2005. The Aurora preferred suppliers network operates in Tasmania, an island state located off the south coast of Australia and is a hub-and-spoke network of dyadic alliances between Aurora Energy, an energy company, and 14 retailers of electrical heating appliances. The study found that Aurora|s governance of network conditions facilitated knowledge-sharing which generated three distinct forms of value: beneficial alliance outcomes; new knowledge about utilising alliance relationships; and new functional skills.

Keywords: strategic business alliances; partnership networks; governance; knowledge sharing; learning; alliance capabilities; strategic alliances; collaboration; Australia.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSBA.2011.038135

International Journal of Strategic Business Alliances, 2011 Vol.2 No.1/2, pp.91 - 112

Published online: 18 Jan 2011 *

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