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Resources, Knowledge and Influence: The Organizational Effects of Interorganizational Collaboration


Address for reprints: Cynthia Hardy, Department of Management, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia 3010


ABSTRACT Inter-organizational collaboration has been linked to a range of important outcomes for collaborating organizations. The strategy literature emphasizes the way in which collaboration between organizations results in the sharing of critical resources and facilitates knowledge transfer. The learning literature argues that collaboration not only transfers existing knowledge among organizations, but also facilitates the creation of new knowledge and produce synergistic solutions. Finally, research on networks and interorganizational politics suggests that collaboration can help organizations achieve a more central and influential position in relation to other organizations. While these effects have been identified and discussed at some length, little attention has been paid to the relationship between them and the nature of the collaborations that produce them. In this paper, we present the results of a qualitative study that examines the relationship between the effects of interorganizational collaboration and the nature of the collaborations that produce them. Based on our study of the collaborative activities of a small, nongovernmental organization (NGO) in Palestine over a four-year period, we argue that two dimensions of collaboration – embeddedness and involvement – determine the potential of a collaboration to produce one or more of these effects.