Managing knowledge for innovation: The role of cooperation, competition, and alliance nationality

Haisu Zhang, Chengli Shu, Xu Jiang, Alan J. Malter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

143 Scopus citations


Strategic alliances play a critical role in global innovation. Firms can overcome resource constraints and achieve superior innovative performance not only by using internal resources but also by acquiring knowledge-based capabilities from alliance partners. In this study, the authors investigate how knowledge acquired from alliance partners affects organizational knowledge creation, which in turn leads to innovative performance. The authors propose that the knowledge-innovation relationship is stronger in international alliances than domestic alliances. The results from a survey of 127 German firms engaged in strategic alliances confirm that knowledge creation mediates the effect of knowledge acquisition on innovative performance and that international alliances strengthen the effect of knowledge creation on innovative performance. In addition, the authors find that interfirm cooperation and competition coexist in strategic alliances and that both factors increase knowledge acquisition, though from different motivational bases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-94
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of International Marketing
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing


  • Competition
  • Cooperation
  • Innovation
  • Knowledge management
  • Strategic alliance


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