The financial environment within which organisations compete has fast become
uncertain and dynamic due to rapid technological and operational changes. The
challenges that organisations face today, and in the future, require them to pursue
strategic initiatives by equipping themselves with the necessary knowledge to compete.
Organisations have entered into inter-organisational strategic alliances to compete in
this dynamic uncertain environment but more importantly they need to practice strategic
flexibility to respond swiftly to environment changes and opportunities. This study
explores how knowledge exchange can be used to improve strategic flexibility within an
inter-organisational strategic alliances.
A qualitative research was conducted based on 9 semi-structured interviews with senior
leaders and executives in the financial environment of South Africa that are currently in
an inter-organisational strategic alliance. The deductive approach applied NonakaÕs
knowledge management model which is commonly adopted to improve knowledge
exchange within an organisation. NonakaÕs Model has seldom been applied within the
inter-organisational context and especially in the attempt to improve strategic flexibility.
NonakaÕs Model explores the four different modes of knowledge exchange being
socialisation, externalisation, combination and internalisation. These modes are
conceptual in nature and therefore the gap of conceptual versus practical was explored
in this study by attempting to identify underlying factors affecting knowledge exchange
and further by suggesting improvements.
The findings of the study highlighted trust, coordination, governance, interorganisational
relationships and ease of business as the major themes influencing
knowledge exchange impacting strategic flexibility within a strategic alliance. From a
practical view, the Nonaka model was found to be an effective theory based tool to
identify factors within these themes influencing knowledge exchange between partners
within a strategic alliance and facilitate the attempt to improve them through the
utilisation of the modelÕs four modes to increase strategic flexibility.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2018.