Factors Influencing Learning Effectiveness Essay

6665 words - 27 pages

Factors Influencing Learning Effectiveness*in International Strategic AlliancesYing LiuNorwegian School of Management BIAbstract This ever-globalized world has put the issue of competing in a globalized market up front. Firms are showing increasing interest in international strategic alliances in order to build up global competences. Among the various intentions with which firms enter into alliance, acquiring knowledge is the one that is put on the top list. This paper, based on the existing theories, investigates the factors that possibly have some impact on the effectiveness of learning in international strategic alliances. The study is a pure theoretical discussion which suggests that factors such as trust, commitment, moderness of organizational culture, length of cooperation, and structuralness may positively related to learning effectiveness while factors like national cultural difference may have a negative effect on learning.IntroductionToday's firms are under great pressure to rethink the the question of how to acquire organizational knowledge, as globalization opens a new and broader arena where quick and active learners win. New knowledge leads to new skills which contriute to sustainable competitive advantage. Thus the acquistion of knowledge becomes an important goal with which firms go into strategic alliances.___________________________________________________________________________Note: As the readers of this paper will note, I directly go into the stage of theorical discussion. Actually, this term paper will be part of my MSc thesis, namely, the theoretical part. An ideal way of doing a quantitative study is to have a case study first, which narrows down the scope of theorical review. In fact I have done this job. However, I would not present the case in this paper. Otherwise, the term paper may turns out over-plump. What I am trying to say is that the theories discussed here is relevant to what is going on in the real world.Inkpen (1998) points out that "in bringing together firms with different skills and knowledge bases, alliances create unique learning opportunities for the partner firms." Joint ventures, mergers and other forms of organizational alliances are rapidly becoming a business necessity, as the simultaneous requirements of advanced technology, capital investment and/or global capability in production, marketing and sales make it nearly impossible for even the largest enterprises to successfully mount some projects entirely on their own. For example, an article in the business press (Wall Street Journal, April 20, 1995) reported that a survey found that "strategic alliances increasingly are important to business growth . . . 55% of the American fastest-growing companies are involved in an average of three alliances. Another 8% have plans to enter such a venture over the next 12 months."According to Harrigan (1985) and Kogut (1988), organizations enter into joint ventures because of transaction cost economies,...

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