Knowledge in use when actors interact in business relationships

Antonella La Rocca, Ivan Snehota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

There has been a lot of interest in the management literature in knowledge. Research in the IMP tradition has investigated the role of interaction in business relationships particularly with regard to the production of resource and activity related knowledge. In this paper we turn our attention to the knowledge actors in business relationships use when they interact, and specifically to knowledge about the counterparts with whom they interact. We start by reviewing the literature that inspired our study, and then report the findings of our empirical study of actors’ representations of their counterparts in 32 business relationships, where we collected actors’ mutual interpretations of the counterpart before and after an interaction episode (meeting). Our findings are based on 128 interviews with actors involved pre- and post- meeting. Our data show that the knowledge actors use when they interact in business relationships has two features: one is that the knowledge in use is emergent and changes continuously; another is that it is relationship specific and consequently varies between relationships. We conclude the paper by discussing the implications of the findings for research and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-93
Number of pages15
JournalTHE IMP JOURNAL
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • actors, representations, practices

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