Clusters and benchmarks on the dynamics of nanoscience and nanotechnology
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Projects and firms as discordant complements: organisational learning in the Munich software ecology

Book or journal references : Research Policy, vol. 33, pp. 1529-1546 (2004).

Author(s) : Ibert , O.

Abstract :

In current theorising, projects and firms are understood as "learning organisations". Although the learning function can be regarded as constituent for both organisational forms, the specific learning mechanisms are connected with opposing features (e.g. long-term, trustful collaboration versus short cyclical, disruptive collaboration). Referring to the first results of qualitative research conducted on the Munich software cluster, this paper aims to explore the functional interplay between projects and firms with regard to organisational learning. The main thesis is that processes of improvement, failure eradication and knowledge accumulation are more likely to take place in firms whereas processes of structural change are more likely to be organised in a project. In complementing one another these functions, however, also generate inconsistencies like contravening learning incentives or contingency traps. Therefore, projects and firms may be regarded as "discordant complements". (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords :

project; project ecology; project-based firm; organisational learning; software development KNOWLEDGE; CONTEXT; SYSTEMS; EMBEDDEDNESS; PERSPECTIVE; INNOVATION; NETWORKS; PRODUCTS

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