Coupling Combinative and Relational Capabilities in Interorganizational Best Practice Transfer: An Evolutionary Perspective
50 Pages Posted: 3 Dec 2004
Date Written: May 2004
Extant strategic management studies usually couple the intensification in the globalization of best business practices to the growing of the specific capabilities needed to transfer business knowledge between or among firms and to implement those practices locally (Hansen, 1999, 2002; Kostova, 1999; O'Dell & Grayson, 1998; Szulanski, 1996). Whereas the management and transfer of best practices has grown up basically in relation to the 'large firms' environment, both the literature and practice of strategy have devoted much less consideration to networks and systems of firms. Since the attention of scholars to interfirm arrangements and strategic networks (Gulati, Nohria & Zaheer, 2000) has rapidly increased in the last few years, we contend that time has come to focus on interorganizational best practice transfer. The aim of this paper is to show why and how systems of firms - intended as efficient modes of organizing and networking strategic resources and capabilities - are able by coupling combinative and relational capabilities to produce superior economic and knowledge value in transferring best business practices inside and outside their borders. By taking an evolutionary perspective, we gather some implications advance some suggestions (about the selection, replication, enhancing of best routines and practices) to manage and transfer best practices in business operations so that networks and systems of firms can earn a superior economic value.
Keywords: Combinative capabilities, relational capabilities, system of firms, interorganizational best practice transfer
JEL Classification: M19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation