Koen Heimeriks, University of Rotterdam

Lecture title:

Experiential and Deliberate Learning in International Strategic Alliance Portfolios


Koen Heimeriks, Department of Strategy and Business Environment, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Speaker(s) Web Pages:

Semester: Winter 2010

Date: Friday, January 29, 2010

Time: 1:30 - 3:00 PM

Venue: Room K1310, Ross School of Business

Additional Notes:

Introducer: Helena Buhr, Sociology



This study examines ways in which firms learn to manage portfolios of international strategic alliances (ISAs). We suggest that experiential learning and deliberate learning increase the use of knowledge available which positively influences ISA portfolio performance. Moreover, we analyze the distinct effects of knowledge creation (ISA experience), retention (ISA policies) and transfer (ISA training) on ISA portfolio performance. Extensive fieldwork and a survey sample of 192 firms that reports on over 2,700 ISAs initiated from 1997 through 2001 are used to test our predictions. The results are consistent with our theoretical predictions. First, knowledge creation, retention and transfer increase the use of knowledge. Second, whereas retention stimulates replication of knowledge by enforcing standard practices, transfer helps to induce variation as it allows ISA management practices to be adapted to new contexts. Implications for international alliance management and organizational learning theory are discussed.

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