Session 419

Cognition and Learning in Alliances

Track N

Date: Monday, September 22, 2014


Time: 16:30 – 17:45


Room: Helsinki

Session Chair:

  • TBD

Title: Cognitive Biases in R&D Alliances


  • Andrea Martinez-Noya, University of Oviedo
  • Esteban García-Canal, University of Oviedo
  • Rajneesh Narula, University of Reading

Abstract: Cognitive biases are particularly relevant when choosing an alliance partner to undertake a novel R&D project because they tend to involve high levels of technological uncertainty and require high bandwidth. Although previous studies based on the RBV or TCT contribute to explain the a priori suboptimal decisions of not allying with the best partner available, or not defining the optimal bandwidth within the alliance, we argue that a more comprehensive explanation of the interrelationships among these paradoxes, and deviations from the optimal choices, can be offered if complementing these theories with Prospect Theory principles. This is so because these decisions go beyond a mere rational calculation of costs and benefits, as firms weight potential losses differently than gains when involved in risky and uncertain decisions.

Title: Experience and Institutional Determinants of Private Scope in Public-Private Partnerships: A Cross-Country Empirical Study


  • Bertrand Quelin, HEC-Paris
  • Sandro Cabral, Insper Institute of Education and Research
  • Sergio Lazzarini, Insper
  • Ilze Kivleniece, INSEAD

Abstract: We analyze the determinants of the private scope in public-private partnerships (PPPs) —i.e. the extent to which private actors are involved in various, complex activities of the partnership— in a cross-country, cross-industry setting. We examine the effects of public and private cumulative experience in PPPs, and the potential impact of the national institutional quality and the level of industry development on private scope. Our empirics use a database covering 807 cases, 11 industries and 66 countries. We find that host-country accumulated learning in dealing with PPPs and superior quality of institutions increases private scope. We also show that private experience leads to an increased involvement of private actors in countries with better institutions and when the industry addressed by the PPP is incipient.

Title: Opening the Black Box of Learning & Contracting Capability Development: Impact of Frames & Attribution


  • Libby Weber, University of California, Irvine

Abstract: In strategy, learning is always desirable, as it supports capability development. However, learning has been largely treated as a black box, with little thought to its mechanisms and their potential biases. When they are considered, the assumptions that learning is universally positive and that it always supports capability development break down. This paper specifically examines mechanisms underlying learning to contract (evaluation, attribution and adjustment) and the cognitive influences (contract framing and attributional biases) that systematically impact them. Two different learning pathways arise, one in which employees learn to continually improve the exchange and another in which they repeatedly learn to increase safeguards against potentially opportunistic partners while decreasing their own responsibility. Depending on the pathway, learning can either support or undermine contractual capability development.

Title: When Complexity Clarifies: Sensemaking in an Institutionally Complex Setting


  • Federica Foce Massa Saluzzo, IESE Business School

Abstract: Institutional logics have traditionally been described as constraining the understanding of reality. Thanks to the privileged setting of an ongoing collaboration between a fashion firm and a fair trade organization, I observe how individuals make sense of the institutional logic in which they are embedded – the internal logic – and of an institutional logic that they are exposed to – external logic – in an institutionally complex setting. I suggest that the exposure to an external logic can improve understanding of reality by helping the holders of the internal logic to make sense of those implicit and automatic practices adopted in their business that have never been rationalized despite their strategic importance.

All Sessions in Track N...

Sun: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 408: Future Research Directions in Cooperative Strategy
Sun: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 427: Research Methods in Cooperative Strategy
Sun: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 422: Alliance Formation and Stakeholder Perceptions
Sun: 17:15 – 18:30
Session 610: Cooperative Strategies IG Business Meeting
Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 418: The Structure and Evolution of Networks
Session 420: Relational Mechanisms and Governance Choice in Alliances
Mon: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 416: Resource Dependence, Power Relations and Cooperation
Session 423: Alliances and Innovation Performance
Mon: 14:45 – 16:00
Session 424: Partnering Experience, Alliance Governance, and Performance
Session 425: Tradeoffs and Opportunism in Cooperative Relations
Mon: 16:30 – 17:45
Session 419: Cognition and Learning in Alliances
Tue: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 409: Increasing the Relevance of Strategy Research
Session 417: Networks of Competition and Cooperation
Tue: 15:30 – 16:45
Session 421: Acquisitions, Alliances, and Contracts
Tue: 17:15 – 18:30
Session 454: Multipartner Cooperation and Third-Party Relations

Strategic Management Society