Session 130

Alliances, Knowledge Transfer, and Performance

Track B

Date: Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Time: 11:30 – 12:45


Room: Meeting Room 14

Session Chair:
Justin Jansen, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Title: Social Capital, Knowledge Transfer, and Outcomes: Meta-Analytic Evidence on a Moderated Mediation Model


  • Justin Jansen, Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Raymond Van Wijk, Erasmus University-Rotterdam
  • Marjorie Lyles, Indiana University

Abstract: Research on how social capital influences knowledge transfer and subsequent organizational outcomes is burgeoning, and yet our understanding of how they relate remains unclear. Although conceptual reviews have emerged, no study has explicitly attempted to examine the mediating role of knowledge transfer. In this paper, we develop moderated mediation model on social capital, knowledge transfer and outcomes. We distinguish between structural and relational capital, and argue that knowledge transfer is a necessary step in converting benefits of social capital into organizational outcomes. We also demonstrate how boundary conditions and industry type moderate the relationships. By consolidating existing research, our study not only reveals new insights into how social capital influences organizational knowledge transfer and outcomes, but also provides meaningful directions for future research.

Title: Knowledge Transfer Among Chinese SME's: The Coordination of Interfirm Relationships in a Transitional Economy


  • James Robins, WU-Vienna
  • Kathleen Yi Jia Low, WU-Vienna

Abstract: External relationships have taken on greater complexity as firms have become more reliant on knowledge transfer from outside sources (Grant, 1996; Spender, 1996; Stuart, 2000). Coordination of knowledge transfer is difficult; relationships are vulnerable to opportunism (Adler, 2001). These issues are especially important in transitional economies as firms struggle to upgrade capabilities to deal with new international competitors. We use survey data from China to examine roles played by three coordinating mechanisms in knowledge transfer to SME's: guanxi, formal contracting, and informal business connections. We find that contract and guanxi act as substitutes, while business connections have an independent effect. The study expands prior work on coordination of inter-firm relationships by Adler (2001), Poppo and Zenger (2002), and Peng and Luo (2000).

Title: The Effects of International R&D Alliances on the Performance of High-Tech Start-Ups: A Longitudinal Analysis


  • Evila Piva, Polytechnic University of Milan
  • Luca Grilli, Polytechnic University of Milan
  • Lucia Piscitello, Polytechnic University of Milan
  • Samuele Murtinu, University of Groningen

Abstract: In this paper we rely on resource- and competence-based perspectives and global strategic network theory to analyze the effects of international R&D alliances on the performance of high-tech start-ups (NTBFs). We claim that these effects depend on the selection of suitable partners. Alliances involving many industrial partners located in countries close to world’s knowledge sources are expected to provide the greatest benefits. In the empirical section we consider EU funded international R&D alliances established by a large sample of Italian NTBFs that are observed over a 10 year period. We measure firm performance through total factor productivity. The results (obtained resorting to system GMM estimates) show that NTBFs benefit from international R&D alliances, but the extent of these benefits closely depend on partner choice.

Title: Alliance Performance: How to Apply Performance Metrics in Alliances?


  • Gerrit Willem Ziggers, Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Brian Tjemkes, VU University Amsterdam

Abstract: In contrast to the common conception that performance metrics always fosters superior alliance performance, this study’s aim is to contribute to an understanding about the effective use of performance metrics by highlighting the conditions under which performance metrics fosters alliance performance. That is, we hypothesize that higher levels of alliance performance depend on the type of performance metric applied (financial, operational, or relational oriented), the extent to which the performance metric is formalized, and alliance maturity (building and maturity stages). Preliminary results indicate that that the impact of performance metrics is conditional to the type of performance metrics applied, the degree to which it is formalized, and the alliance development stage. We contribute to the alliance literature by demonstrating that a distinction between outcome and behavioral metrics is necessary to advance theory development.

All Sessions in Track B...

Mon: 12:45 – 14:00
Session 123: The Configuration of Alliance Portfolios: Antecedents and Consequences
Mon: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 131: Managing External Relationships: Perception, Judgement and Action
Session 132: Uncertainty and the Leveraging of Relational Mechanisms in Alliances
Mon: 17:15 – 18:30
Session 126: Getting It Right: Buyer-Supplier Relationships
Tue: 10:00 – 11:15
Session 124: License to Deal: Technology Licensing, Innovation, and Corporate Investment
Tue: 11:30 – 12:45
Session 127: Law and Order: Alliance Governance Decisions
Session 134: Organizational Design and Networking Strategies under Uncertainty
Tue: 14:30 – 15:45
Session 128: Is He The One? Partner Selection and Tie Formation
Session 133: The Dynamics of Interorganizational Networks and Their Performance Implications
Wed: 10:00 – 11:15
Session 129: Putting Things in Context: Competition and Network Dynamics
Wed: 11:30 – 12:45
Session 130: Alliances, Knowledge Transfer, and Performance
Session 135: The Good, the Bad and the Not so Bad: Enhancing Performance by Discerning External Relationships

Strategic Management Society

Washington DC