Believing Is Seeing: Joint Ventures and Organization Learning

Andrew C. Inkpen, Mary M. Crossan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

341 Scopus citations


This paper develops a conceptual framework for the study of organization learning and applies it to learning in joint ventures (JVs). the framework presents a multilevel view of the phenomenon, suggesting that learning in organizations occurs at the individual, group and organization levels. the framework integrates behavioural and cognitive perspectives of organization learning and delineates both learning processes and outcomes. Four key elements of organization learning are addressed: the nature of managerial learning experiences, the sharing and integration of managerial learning within an organization, the insti‐tutionalization of learning, and the relationship between organization learning and performance. In applying the framework to a study of learning and JVs, we observed firms with explicit learning objectives unable to put into place the appropriate mechanisms and systems to transfer knowledge from the JV to the parent. While individual managers in the JVs were often enthusiastic and positive about their learning experiences, integration of the learning experience at the parent firm level was problematic, limiting the institutionalized learning. the fundamental position in this paper is that a rigid set of managerial beliefs associated with an unwillingness to cast off or unlearn past practices can severely limit the effectiveness of organization learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)595-618
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Management Studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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