Collaboration in a Global World, Pt 1.

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007
Emerging Trends in Inter-Firm Collaboration; lessons learned form the literature
First up: David Pender, University of Adelaide, Australia.

Abstract: It is widely accepted that collaboration, whether between individuals, work groups, or, indeed, organizations, plays an important role in the process of knowledge creation and maintenance.

"Knowledge is in the eye of the beholder." Context is such an important part of the knowledge itself. [Collaboration can help provide the contextual structure.]

Technology that supports the people in a KM system is important, but it's the people that makes the whole thing work.

Things like knowledge and innovation doe on have a corporate existence! They exist within the individual.

- Complex organizational forms
- Incomplete contracts
- Contingencies cannot be prespecified in contract

Two distinct paths
- Emergent processes (from common interests, environmental changes)
-Engineered (triggered entity)

As the operating environment becomes more discontinuous, the more impossible it is to do everything in-house. (Limerick, Cunnington, & Crowther, 2002)

We see a shift from acquiring capabilities to accessing partner capabilities.
Collaborations can create new knowledge.
External knowledge impacts a firm's value.  (Having the reputation of being a good partner has become a key asset.)

Efficiency & Effectiveness Goals
Key Behaviors
- Trust between partners - reduces transaction costs
- Key understandings
- Potential hurdles
- Understanding the network composition &^ Characteristics

OK Apple iTunes just interrupted the presentation, offering to upgrade the software. Good chuckle.

Reduces transaction costs and avoids opportunistic behavior.
Knowledge based trust: trust emerges as firms interact and learn over time.

Discussed concept of "Amitica" (Look into term, latin defs)

[Michael, you may want to contact Professor Pender to disucss his research.]

Key Understandings:

Kanter's 8 "I's"
here are three of them... (N/A: Look up the others)
- Relationships have to be looked upon as important.
- Interdependencies are important
- Everyone need to be informed simultaneously.

Understanding competitive vs collaborative learning.
- Competitive learning is a zero-sum game
- Collaborative learning can be a positive-sum game

Potential Hurdles:
- Failure to understand our partner's competencies (learn why rather than how)
- [lack of] Strong learning champion in a leadership position (Patience and understanding)


- N-I-H Syndrome

Network Issues:
Information that passes through a network is influenced by each participants position in that network. (Sorry, I missed citation)

- Networks shapes & characteristics
- Networks for exploitation & exploration
- Competition between firms located in similar positions [within their network]
- Centrality and embeddedness
- Social Capital Aspects

A. Information and knowledge brokers have powr because of their connections to the structural whole. Great for non-complex... missed.

Coleman: (Lookup quote)

[Michael, Pender posits that there is a gaping hole in research collaboration (check recording at 29 min)]

IDENTIFIED BEST PRACTICE [for collaboration and knowledge sharing]
- Get the process right
- Establish systems that work
- Senior management responsibilities must be defined and consistent
- Creation of 'ba' (the Knowledge Creating Company; references in paper)
- Appropriate place in network

Experience in collaboration alone is not a determiner of success in collaboration. Experience must be internalized to become knowledge.

- Creating the knowledge vision
- Develop the collaborative individual (Collaboration is no longer about the firm, it's about the individual)
- Resource trade-off between participants & the network
- Asymmetric of inputs and outputs
Network governance (relational/Contractual)

I thought that this was an oustanding session and I look forward to reading the research paper.

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