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Inter-Organizational Collective Learning: The case of biotechnology in France

Abstract : We explore inter-organizational collective learning by assuming that authority relationships are different at the inter- from the intra-organizational level. This difference has implications for the way in which a collective solves the problems related to the creation of a hierarchy between different bodies of appropriate knowledge. At the intra-organizational level, cognitive conflicts are solved by centralization and alignment with opinion leaders who often have formal and epistemic authority. In this context, members tend not to seek advice from others « below » them in the organizational status hierarchy. At the inter-organizational level, we show that the absence of a formal hierarchy encourages entrepreneurs to invest heavily in relational activity. This behaviour allows them to keep their status in a context where epistemic conflicts become entrenched, following a polarization process, in different epistemic communities. We illustrate this phenomenon with an empirical study of entrepreneurs in the French biotech industry.
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Alvaro Piña-Stranger, Emmanuel Lazega. Inter-Organizational Collective Learning: The case of biotechnology in France. European Journal of International Management, Inderscience, 2010, 4 (6), pp.602 - 620. ⟨hal-01800230⟩

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