PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to portray and analyze the importance of learning and knowledge transfer in strategic alliances created in the context of emerging markets, Russia and Taiwan in particular, and to identify the influence of relational capital factors on the effectives of learning in strategic alliances. Strategic alliances are one of the main tools companies resort to learn, acquire and develop new knowledge and skills.Design/methodology/approachThis research is conducted by case study with four international strategic alliances between Taiwanese and Russian companies.FindingsThe results showed that the main driver determining the propensity of the companies located in the emerging markets to establish strategic alliances is learning intent. More specifically, the companies are willing to acquire partner’s managerial, marketing and production knowledge and skills. Relational capital created between partners, and presented through the existence of trust, communication and openness proved to have a determinant influence on the effectiveness and quality of learning process in the strategic alliances, especially in the context of the emerging markets. However, there is an inverted-U relationship between the learning potential of an alliance and the strength of relational involvement of the alliance partners, who utilize the certain means to prevent the negative effects of over-embeddedness.Originality/valueThe major contributions that were made by the study are the following: the authors made an attempt to synthesize different approaches and investigate what are the primary factors affecting strategic alliances formation and operation in the emerging markets context. The authors extended the previous research by reviewing, not only the impact of the relational capital on the process of learning among the partners in the strategic alliances but also by analyzing the forces influencing the strength of these ties. The authors further investigated whether the continuous strengthening of the relational ties is necessary and always beneficial for the companies.
Chinese Management Studies – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 4, 2016
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