Chapter 5

WORKING COLLABORATIVELY IN PARTNERSHIPS

Snapshot

Any form of partnership depends on knowledge sharing to achieve its potential and deliver the anticipated value. However, different types of partnership rely on different mechanisms to facilitate the process. Three categories of inter-organizational collaborative relationships are covered here: supplier/buyer arrangements, alliances, and consortia. A number of practices that will help improve knowledge flows in each relationship category are identified. In supplier relationships the focus is on what knowledge is available and delivers value. Processes, standards, and technology are important to support mainly explicit knowledge flows. In alliances the knowledge focus is on who to contact as well as what knowledge is available. Connecting people at many levels and showing what can be achieved by sharing success stories are both important to identify opportunities to deliver business together. Finally, in consortia the focus is on what knowledge should be made available as well as what exists and how it can be mobilized. Facilitating connections between people is important, and standards, processes, and collaborative working technology allow different knowledge bases to be integrated efficiently. Attention needs to be paid to briefing people about what knowledge should be shared and what must be protected.

It is individuals that make partnerships work well. The values and skills needed by critical people involved in the three ...

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