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Inter-Partner Learning in Asymmetric Alliances between Foreign and Indigenous Companies in the Nigerian Oil Industry

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Okechukwu Okonkwo

The emergence and growing trend of inter-firm alliances between indigenous oil companies and foreign international oil companies in the Nigerian oil industry has elicited widespread expectations of inter-partner learning and knowledge transfer through the alliances in the industry. However, the asymmetric nature of these foreign-indigenous alliances has also raised the question as to «whether or not» and «how» learning and knowledge transfer takes place in these alliances. Through explorative case study research, this work examines the learning intents and learning capacities of partner companies in selected cases of alliances as well as the types of knowledge they acquired through the alliances. The major objective is to identify the pattern of inter-partner learning and the factors affecting learning in such asymmetric alliances. Based on the empirical findings, relevant recommendations are provided for the managerial practice in the industry and the implications for research are highlighted.

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Peter Lang european University Studies Okechukwu Okonkwo Inter-Partner Learning in asymmetric alliances between Foreign and Indigenous Companies in the nigerian Oil Industry O . O ko nk w o · In te r- P ar tn er L ea rn in g in A sy m m et ri c A lli an ce s in th e N ig er ia n O il In du st ry V /3 37 9 Okechukwu Okonkwo, born in Ozubulu (nigeria), obtained his Bachelor’s de- gree in 2003 from University of Osnabrück (germany) and his Master’s degree in 2006 from University of Hamburg. He completed his doctorate in 2010 at the Department of Business administration, University of Hamburg. the emergence and growing trend of inter-firm alliances between indigenous oil companies and foreign international oil companies in the nigerian oil industry has elicited widespread expectations of inter-partner learning and knowledge transfer through the alliances in the industry. However, the asymmetric na- ture of these foreign-indigenous alliances has also raised the question as to “whether or not” and “how” learning and knowledge transfer takes place in these alliances. through explorative case study research, this work examines the learning intents and learning capacities of partner companies in selected cases of alliances as well as the types of knowledge they acquired through the alliances. the major objective is to identify the pattern of inter-partner learning and the factors affecting learning in such asymmetric alliances. Based on the empirical findings, relevant recommendations are provided for the managerial practice...

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