Power and inter-organizational learning: intertwining new knowledge

Power and inter-organizational learning: intertwining new knowledge
Document type
Working Paper
Author(s)
Jones, Oswald; Macpherson, Allan
Publisher
Manchester Metropolitan University Business School
Date of publication
7 June 2005
Series
Manchester Metropolitan University Business School Working Papers
Subject(s)
Small business & enterprise: the practicalities of running a small business and the theory of entrepreneurship, Management & leadership: including strategy, public sector management, operations and production
Collection
Business and management
Material type
Reports

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The ability to learn from customers and suppliers is key to improvements in productivity and longer-term competitive advantage in smaller firms. However, SMEs lack the internal structures, routines and procedures by which larger organizations absorb knowledge. Therefore, this paper suggests that inter-organizational links are essential if owner-managers are serious about institutionalising new knowledge. To demonstrate how this process operates, the authors re-conceptualise the 4I learning framework to incorporate inter- as well as intra-organizational linkages. The 5I framework suggests that SMEs must maintain a balance between exploration and exploitation if the firm is to remain competitive. Furthermore, the paper extends the original model by suggesting the ‘feedback’ learning processes are shaped by the power of owner/managers.

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