Annals of Business Administrative Science
Online ISSN : 1347-4456
Print ISSN : 1347-4464
Inter-Firm Learning in High-Commitment Horizontal Alliances
Findings from Two Cases in the World Auto Industry
Daniel A. HELLERTakahiro FUJIMOTO
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2004 Volume 3 Issue 3 Pages 35-52

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Abstract

The present paper argues that the Ford-Mazda and Renault-Nissan relationships may represent a forerunning pattern of the learning alliance, whereby ongoing close interaction of horizontal alliance partners at multiple hierarchical levels can be used to facilitate the mutual accumulation of superior organizational capabilities within the alliance firms. Our observations suggest that for this pattern of cooperation to function effectively at least the following three conditions must be met. The alliance partners must: (1) co-exist as separate learning organizations, (2) be able to evaluate accurately a partner's relative organizational capability strengths and weaknesses, and (3) have the motivation and ability to facilitate a partner's inter-firm learning.

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