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Learning Networks : A metaphor for inter organisational development
Halmstad University, School of Business and Engineering (SET), Centre for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Learning Research (CIEL).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7139-7338
1999 (English)In: The Babson Kaufmann Research Conference, Colombia, South Carolina, USA, 1999Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

LEARNING NETWORKS—A METAPHOR FOR INTER-ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Joakim Tell, Halmstad University, Sweden

Principal Topic

I want to highlight the importance of external relations and the qualitative elements in dialogue for the development of SMEs, by using the metaphor of networks as a base for facilitating company development. I have, during a four years period, followed and studied inter organisational networks from “within,” and seen the possibilities of using networks (external relations) as a development tool. In this paper, I reflect over the process where different organisations meet and share knowledge and visions on how to work with development questions and emphasise the importance of external relations for both inter organisational and internal company development.

Method

The method used in this study is action research. In action research the question at issue is addressed by both researcher and the so called “researched,” the other (e.g. an organisation) who presents as well as represents the question. The research the learning, is in the joint action, which, if successful, will at the same time and in the same act a contribution to solving or clarifying practical problems as well as generate knowledge.

Implications

The implications drawn from this study is that external relations is an important complement in the development of SMEs, both on a personal level for the people taking part, but also on a company level. On a personal level, uncertainty reduction and changed values are examples on development, and on a company level, different intra/inter organisational development projects have been initiated.

These relations have also proved to be an effective medium for sharing experience and enhancing mutual trust among the participants. It has particularly been effective in sharing tacit knowledge and creating new perspectives.

In order to give representatives from SMEs a greater possibility to reflection, researchers from universities can work more closely with companies in the region and fill the roles necessary to facilitate these relations. I see that SMEs can use external relations as an alternative form of organisation for development, where a group of key persons from SMEs and universities form this ad hoc “development group,” to compensate for internal lack of resources. This closer co-operation between university and industry will also have a positive, long-term effect on the development of the region and the relations between university-industry.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1999.
Keywords [en]
Networks, Learning, Development
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-4657OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-4657DiVA, id: diva2:322694
Available from: 2010-06-08 Created: 2010-06-08 Last updated: 2014-09-30Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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