A New Perspective on Learning and Innovation in Cross-Sector Collaborations

35 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2011

See all articles by Matthew Murphy

Matthew Murphy

ESADE Business School

Francois Perrot

Ecole Polytechnique

Miguel Rivera-Santos

Babson College

Date Written: July, 16 2011


This study explores whether absorptive capacity, one of the most important concepts in the literature on inter-partner learning and innovation in alliances, can be directly transposed to cross-sector alliances. The results of the analysis suggest that current models of absorptive capacity only imperfectly reflect the learning and innovation dynamics characteristic of cross-sector alliances, due to differences in alliance partners, their goals, and the type of innovations they pursue. This article introduces the concept of Relational Capacity for Social Innovation, a model better suited to the analysis of learning and innovation in the context of cross-sector alliances, especially those operating at the base of the economic pyramid.

Keywords: Absorptive Capacity; Cross-sector Alliances; Social Innovation; Innovation; Base-of-the-Pyramid

Suggested Citation

Murphy, Matthew and Perrot, Francois and Rivera-Santos, Miguel, A New Perspective on Learning and Innovation in Cross-Sector Collaborations (July, 16 2011). Journal of Business Research, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1887004

Matthew Murphy

ESADE Business School ( email )

Av. de Pedralbes, 60-62
Barcelona, 08034

Francois Perrot

Ecole Polytechnique ( email )

Department of Economics
Palaiseau, 91128

HOME PAGE: http://www.francoisperrot.net

Miguel Rivera-Santos (Contact Author)

Babson College ( email )

Babson Park, MA 02157
United States
781-239-5325 (Phone)

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