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Despite a growing body of research on exploration and exploitation, scholars have tended to study the phenomena from a narrow perspective mostly within larger…
Despite a growing body of research on exploration and exploitation, scholars have tended to study the phenomena from a narrow perspective mostly within larger, well-established organizations. However, it is still far from obvious how top management within small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are to address the liability of newness and seek access to resources and capabilities relevant for the pursuit of exploration and exploitation. Resource sourcing and allocation decisions are particularly critical in SMEs and must be aligned with the firm’s fundamental strategic intent and growth model. For example, organizations following a stage model by first developing a domestic market and then expanding globally will require different bundles of resources and capabilities than organizations that are designed to conquer the global arena. Indeed, management systems will likely need to adapt across the firm life cycle such that it can fulfill an explorative function in the earlier stages and an exploitative function in later ones. Hence, early-stage ventures have to master the resource reallocation process which is contingent on their access to capital. Across the firm life cycle, venture capitalists can tap into the growth potential of early-stage ventures is a key factor behind their successful short-term innovative performance as well as long-term survival.
The purpose of this paper is to advance the understanding of the mechanisms associated with learning-by-hiring.
The authors built a yearly dyad data structure of all of the hiring and sourcing firms in the US biotechnology sector between 1973 and 1999.
The authors found that hiring firm’s learning from a prior employer’s knowledge is limited in scope to the knowledge developed by the newly hired inventor, and could be attributed to new hire direct involvement. Learning from new recruit occurred only when incumbent inventors collaborate intensively with the hired inventor. Accordingly, what might seem like learning-by-hiring may result in hiring to avoid learning, unless the organization creates the social structures that facilitate the exchange of knowledge within and throughout the organization.
The results, thus, highlight the importance of aligning a firm’s social environment with its strategic goal to learn from its external competitors.
Recruitment is one means by which organizations can interact with and learn from their external environment. Incumbent inventors are more likely to learn from hired inventor knowledge through the development of a collaborative social culture that facilitates communication and trust in the process of transferring knowledge among individuals. The results, thus, highlight the importance of aligning a firm’s internal environment with its strategic goal to learn from its external competitors.
The authors suggest that access to new knowledge bases through hiring is not sufficient for learning purposes; internalizing a new hire’s knowledge also requires the internal mechanisms, structures, and cultures that motivate knowledge sharing and promote mutual trust.
Interorganizational partner selection decisions are plagued with uncertainty. When making partnering decisions, firms strive to answer two questions: does the prospective…
Interorganizational partner selection decisions are plagued with uncertainty. When making partnering decisions, firms strive to answer two questions: does the prospective partner have resources which can be used to generate value in the relationship; and will the partner be willing to actively share these resources and cooperate in good faith? Answers to these questions help reduce three types of uncertainty – partner capability uncertainty, partner competitiveness uncertainty and partner reliability uncertainty. For a relationship to benefit both partners, they have to possess complimentary resources of comparable quality, avoid explicit competition as well as be willing to engage in the cooperative behaviors within the confines of their relationship. In this paper, we examine the importance of prospective partners’ characteristics (differences in size, status and specialization) as well as their network characteristics (existence of a common partner and membership in the same clique) to the formation and longevity of their social relationships, as these characteristics reduce firms’ value generation and partner reliability uncertainty.