A Preliminary Typology of Learning in International Strategic Alliances

Tsang, Eric W. K.
October 1999
Journal of World Business;Fall99, Vol. 34 Issue 3, p211
Academic Journal
The idea of gaining access to sources of know-how located outside of the organization through strategic alliances is increasingly popular. This article examines the issue of learning in strategic alliances. Two different objects of learning are discussed and compared. They are "learning the other partner's skills" and "learning from strategic alliance experience." Depending on whether the partners concerned focus on the same or different objects of learning, four patterns of learning, namely asymmetrical, nonmutual competitive and non-competitive, are identified. It is expected that firms behave differently when engaging in different patterns of learning. Based on cross-pattern comparisons, research propositions are suggested and point to a fresh research direction. Moreover, managerial implications are discussed.


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