Knowledge Search in International Cooperative Ventures

Oded Shenkar, Jiatao Li

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

219 Citations (Scopus)


By taking a learning approach to international cooperative ventures, this study introduces absorptive capacity as a principle governing the relationship between knowledge possession and knowledge search among prospective partners. Two alternative hypotheses are juxtaposed: The first is that firms will seek additional knowledge in the same area in which they already have a knowledge base; the second is that firms will seek knowledge in a complementary area. Data from 90 partner-seeking firms in China show that the possession of complementary knowledge is a prerequisite for knowledge search. Furthermore, in line with the learning perspective, the equity joint venture is the vehicle of choice for firms seeking transfer of tacit, embedded knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-143
Number of pages10
JournalOrganization Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Absorptive Capacity
  • International Cooperative Ventures
  • Knowledge Search
  • Knowledge Transfer Vehicles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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