2015-John Lannon

Knowledge Sharing and Learning in International Non-governmental Organisation Alliances

Dr John Lannon, University of Limerick

Co-Investigator: John Walsh, University of Limerick.

Project summary: This research will examine the emergence of strategic and local context-specific practices as they relate to knowledge sharing and learning in alliances of international non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Based on a case study of a strategic alliance involving eight European NGOs engaged in humanitarian and development activities, it will explore the development and maintenance of an alliance strategy while balancing partners' independence with their interdependence. It will identify the structures required to facilitate an alliance strategy, and investigate how the strategy and associated structures can be implemented and embedded at partner and project level. It will also examine the type of micro-level operational practices that emerge over time, and will assess the degree to which local practices are likely to transfer between alliance partners. The examination of strategic alliances in a not-for-profit context will contribute to the achievement of socially important outcomes in areas like international development and environmental protection by helping NGOs achieve their strategic goals through collaborative alliances with like-minded NGOs. Furthermore the examination of strategic alliances in a not-for-profit context will provide new perspectives on knowledge sharing and learning that will contribute to our understanding of collaborative success and will offer opportunities for future research. In examining NGO alliances and with private sector counterparts we offer an alternative to the pre-eminence of the firm as the global organisational form of interest within the field of international management studies. This can form a basis for future learning and research in the broader area of international business.