Session 49

Organizational Learning and Alliances

Track N

Date: Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Time: 15:45 – 17:00


Room: Dressing Room 220

Session Chair:

  • Xavier Martin, Tilburg University

Title: Contractual Learning and Completeness: The Case of Franchising


  • Vanesa Solis-Rodriguez, University of Oviedo
  • Manuel González Díaz, University of Oviedo

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyze the effect of different dimensions of contractual learning (learning about the partner’s behavior and learning about the transaction) over the use of governance mechanisms, relational mechanisms and explicit contracting, using a specific type of alliance: franchising. Our results indicate that those chains with more franchising experience, and then with a stronger knowledge about the relevant aspects of the exchange, specify their contracts in greater detail, introducing a higher number of contingencies. Moreover, we observe a higher number of contingencies concerning franchisee’s obligations than franchisor’s obligations. This suggests a moderating effect of the parties’ knowledge about the counterpart behavior. Contrary to literature on interfirm relationships, that has emphasized the role of relational governance, our results indicate that business contracts can also be an important mechanism in governing interorganizational relationships.

Title: Domestic Alliance Experience as an Antecedent to International Expansion


  • Linda Rademaker, BI Norwegian Business School
  • Xavier Martin, Tilburg University

Abstract: This paper examines how strategic alliances with MNEs may induce knowledge spillovers that can be used as the foundation on which local firms can build their attempts to expand internationally. Using a sample of FDI in- and outflows into China and the United States in the period 1978-2011 we analyze the likelihood of international expansion of Chinese firms. We find a positive effect of joint venture experience on the propensity of Chinese firms to conduct FDI in the United States, with strong country effects. In addition, we find that domestic alliance experience influences the entry mode chosen upon internationalization.

Title: Inter-Organizational Strategizing as Extension of Sensemaking Capacities


  • Felix Werle, University of Zurich
  • David Seidl, University of Zurich

Abstract: In the wake of progressive globalization and accelerating speed of change, corporations are increasingly faced with so-called meta-problems, whose complexity outstrips their individual sensemaking capacities. As a response to that, organizations are increasingly engaging in inter-organizational sensemaking activities in order to develop a collective understanding of the meta-problems to inform their intra-organizational attempts at dealing with them. In this paper, we propose to conceptualize such inter-organizational strategizing processes as scaffolding of sensemaking capacities. Based on a longitudinal case study of a multi-sector industry initiative concerned with the meta-problem of water as an environmental resource constraint, we explore the different practices and patterns in which individual organizations extend their respective sensemaking capacities. We identify three categories of extension practices (scaffolding, conduct & transfer practices) and three patterns of extension (triggering, complementary & selective extension).

Title: Internal Structures and Inter-Organizations Relations: Influence of a Firm\'s Matrix Structure on its Alliance Choices


  • Maxim Sytch, Northwestern University
  • Franz Wohlgezogen, Northwestern University

Abstract: In this study we investigate how a firm’s internal organizational structure influences its choices regarding interorganizational partnerships. Our specific focus in this study is on matrix organizational forms. We propose that matrix structures involve relational dynamics that are not unlike those in inter-organizational partnerships: they involve split-authority arrangements, and complex, often informal communication channels and coordination mechanisms. The internal collaborative arrangements under matrix structures may lead to organizational learning and capability development, which in turn may facilitate specific types of external interorganizational partnerships. We hypothesize and find empirical support for matrix firms’ tendency to enter into more complex and more challenging alliances than non-matrix firms.

All Sessions in Track N...

Sun: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 100: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Cooperative Strategies
Sun: 09:30 – 10:45
Session 101: Practicing Cooperative Strategies
Sun: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 102: Research Methods in Cooperative Strategies
Sun: 15:15 – 16:30
Session 46: Value Creation and Capture in Alliances
Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 44: Network Contingencies and Alliance Performance
Mon: 09:30 – 10:45
Session 50: Trust and Relational Governance
Mon: 13:30 – 14:45
Session 45: New Perspectives on Alliance Termination
Mon: 16:30 – 17:45
Session 51: Resource- and Knowledge-Based Views of Cooperative Strategies
Tue: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 248: Cooperation and Industry Contingencies
Tue: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 247: Cooperative Strategies
Tue: 14:15 – 15:30
Session 48: Managing Alliance Dynamics
Tue: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 49: Organizational Learning and Alliances
Tue: 17:30 – 18:45
Session 47: Governing and Managing High-Tech Collaborations

Strategic Management Society