Knowledge creation in strategic alliances: Another look at organizational learning

Phillip H. Phan, Theodore Peridis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


This paper argues that a certain amount of partner conflict must exist for knowledge creation to occur in a strategic alliance. We argue that such tensions can generate opportunities for firms to challenge each other's assumptions and paradigms, leading to novel perspectives and new solutions. This position is contrasted to existing theories that present conflict minimization as the route to alliance success. The paper exploits the generative or double-loop learning process (Liedtka et al. 1997; Argyris and Schon 1996) to build a model of interorganizational knowledge creation and explicitly considers the implications for partner interactions. We suggest that knowledge creation often occurs in turbulent and discontinuous environments associated with the tension between alliance partners of different cultural origins. This paradox is critical to understanding the reasons why strategic alliances often fall short in their potential to create new knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-222
Number of pages22
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Strategy and Management


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