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The temporal effects of relative and firm-level absorptive capacity on interorganizational learning in alliances and joint ventures


Keil, Thomas; Schildt, Henri; Maula, Markku (2012). The temporal effects of relative and firm-level absorptive capacity on interorganizational learning in alliances and joint ventures. Strategic Management Journal, 33(10):1154-1173.

Abstract

We examine how determinants of absorptive capacity influence learning in alliances over time. Using longitudinal patent cross-citation data, we find an inverted U-shaped pattern over time that is influenced by firm-level and relational factors. Technological similarity only modestly increases learning in the initial stages of a relationship, but moderate levels substantially increase knowledge flows later in the alliance. High technological diversity is related to higher initial learning rates, but the effects diminish over time. Somewhat surprisingly, research and development intensity is negatively related to initial learning rates but has a considerable positive effect later in the relationship. We suggest that initial learning rates in alliances may be constrained by the capacity to absorb knowledge, while later-stage outcomes are constrained by exploitation capacity.

Abstract

We examine how determinants of absorptive capacity influence learning in alliances over time. Using longitudinal patent cross-citation data, we find an inverted U-shaped pattern over time that is influenced by firm-level and relational factors. Technological similarity only modestly increases learning in the initial stages of a relationship, but moderate levels substantially increase knowledge flows later in the alliance. High technological diversity is related to higher initial learning rates, but the effects diminish over time. Somewhat surprisingly, research and development intensity is negatively related to initial learning rates but has a considerable positive effect later in the relationship. We suggest that initial learning rates in alliances may be constrained by the capacity to absorb knowledge, while later-stage outcomes are constrained by exploitation capacity.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:13 Jun 2013 11:47
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:49
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0143-2095
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/smj.1963
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:8131

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