Value Creation in Inter-Organizational Collaboration: An Empirical Study
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Over the last decade, businesses, policymakers, and researchers alike have advocated the need for (and potential of) value creation through inter-organizational collaboration. Researchers have widely argued that organizations that are engaged in collaborative processes create value. Because researchers have tended to focus on the identification of organizational motivations and on key success factors for collaboration, however, both the nature and processes of value creation in inter-organizational collaboration have yet to be examined. A recent theory by Austin and Seitanidi (Nonprofit Volunt Sect Q 41(5):726–758, 2012a; Nonprofit Volunt Sect Q 41(6):929–968, 2012b) has proposed an analytical framework for analyzing value creation in inter-organizational collaboration, based on four types of value. The purpose of this current study is to empirically test this framework, and to provide key pointers for analyzing the nature of value, particularly in relation to learning. Our detailed empirical research is based on a 6-year retrospective case study of an inter-organizational partnership within an international development project for local economic development in Guatemala. The study’s contributions are twofold. First, it provides evidence of the critical path of the creation of diverse types of values in a collaborative process; second, it links the different types of value creation with the types of learning that occur in an inter-organizational process.
KeywordsInter-organizational collaboration Value creation Critical path Learning Capacity-building International development and cooperation
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