The reconfiguration of practical knowledge in competitive alliances

Emberson, Caroline and Storey, John (2010). The reconfiguration of practical knowledge in competitive alliances. International Journal of Knowledge Management Studies, 4(2) pp. 114–131.



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.

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