Keywords: interfirm alliances, learning effectiveness, communication activity, transparency, receptivity, Taiwan textile industry, strategic alliances, knowledge transfer
The effectiveness of learning from strategic alliances: a case study of the Taiwanese textile industry
Interfirm alliances provide a channel of communication between partnering firms. However, two notable communication barriers hinder the effectiveness of learning across firms. As the target knowledge is different from their existing knowledge base, the recipient firms' incumbent knowledge base may not be sufficient to identify target knowledge. In addition, inability to internalise and integrate acquired knowledge to the rest of organisation may handicap the effect of new knowledge. A growing number of recent studies have reported that the frequency of communication activities has positive contribution to the interaction quality between firms. However, we know relatively less about the role of transparency and receptivity in the relationships between communication activities and learning effectiveness. To address this issue, we designed a survey study based on the learning and knowledge transfer literature. The results of our analysis show that communication improves interfirm learning effectiveness, but such relationship is mediated by transparency and receptivity.