To read this content please select one of the options below:

Inter-company interaction framework: understanding the 4 Cs framework to promote learning

Simon Reese (University of Maryland University College, Adelphi, Maryland, United States)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 2 March 2015




The purpose of this paper is to introduce a conceptual framework to assist members of an inter-company structure in understanding the partner company's interest in interacting and advancing toward a learning organization.


The paper provides a framework outlining the differing patterns of interaction between the two separate organizations and describes how each of the differing interactions should be used to align the learning system. Without understanding the 4 Cs from the side of both companies, the interaction may misalign, and the shared vision of learning may fail.


In order to best ensure consistency in knowledge sharing across the organizations, the L&D practitioner in conjunction with the sales and marketing arm of the organization should examine the interactions and identify the patterns of interaction before developing a learning system engaging the partner organization.

Practical implications

Managing the patterns of interaction through an understanding of the 4 Cs allows the organizations to quickly understand why learning systems are failing and where conflicts may arise.


The paper offers a conceptual framework for senior managers to consider when they enter into an inter-company interaction. The example is set in a wholesale distributor model; however, the framework can provide the L&D professionals areas into which they can expand traditional learning environments when working across company boundaries.



Reese, S. (2015), "Inter-company interaction framework: understanding the 4 Cs framework to promote learning", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 47 No. 2, pp. 67-72.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles