University of Tasmania
Pateman_Hilary_whole_thesis.pdf (2.39 MB)

The role of strategic intent in collaboration : knowledge creation and transfer in the Australian logistics industry : part A

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posted on 2023-05-27, 14:37 authored by Pateman, HA
Collaborating is a strategy frequently adopted by senior managers in organisations to achieve cost savings or access new markets. Collaboration provides a social, interactive context for knowledge creation and transfer. Knowledge is valuable and emphasised by organisational strategists to leverage diverse intellectual capabilities and human capital, which may contribute to sustainable competitive advantage. To maximise the opportunities to learn and innovate arising from a collaborative venture, the role of strategic intent may be significant. Strategic intent provides an objective focus for senior managers in organisations to assist the strategy process. The purpose of this thesis is to explore the role of strategic intent in collaborations on knowledge creation, its transfer and absorptive capacity. Absorptive capacity is a critical component of an organisation's ability to exploit knowledge creation and transfer. The definitions, elements, effects and interdependencies of these key concepts are the focus of continuing development within the academic and practitioner literature. There is a rich, conceptual literature with diverse perspectives that have little convergence and low levels of relevant empirical research. Additionally the comprehensive literature review highlights that cross-pollination of ideas or frameworks from diverse perspectives is lacking. Being able to offer insights to senior managers to inform their strategising is difficult in this complex domain. A multi-theoretical approach to this exploratory study has been adopted to assist in reducing complexity, drawing together key elements of diverse perspectives and clarifying the interdependencies between the concepts. A key theory is a model of knowing which shows the knowledge processes at work in an organisation. . The key concepts from the literature are explored with a mixed methods study of 32 senior managers in the Australian logistics industry. This industry is significant to the national economy and contains inter-organisational networks with many opportunities to collaborate. In Australia, the logistics industry is competitive, dynamic yet fragmented. Forming collaborative ventures becomes a potential strategic solution in this environment, an action strongly supported by the respondents. This thesis suggests strategic intent is important to senior managers and their daily practices connected with collaboration. Strategic intent provides a frame of reference that is regularly adapted to changes in the environment. Collaboration generates strategic benefits as a way of doing business, facilitating growth and enabling solutions from which knowledge creation and transfer occur. Staff development practices to further absorptive capacity improve the knowledge effects of collaboration, with personal interaction essential. The roles of strategic intent and absorptive capacity have been incorporated into the knowing model. With senior managers heavily involved in collaboration, strategic intent creates an important framework for their daily practices, contributing to knowledge creation and transfer in collaborations. Little significant difference to the findings is evident from organisational size or senior managers' experience, qualifications or maturity. Future opportunities for further research include improved knowledge of the dynamic interplay of the central concepts, including multiple levels of management and utilising a longitudinal study.


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