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Manifested attitudes: intricacies of inter-partner learning in collaboration

Huxham, C. and Hibbert, P.C. (2007) Manifested attitudes: intricacies of inter-partner learning in collaboration. Journal of Management Studies, 45 (3). pp. 502-529. ISSN 0022-2380

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This article is concerned with attitudes to learning in inter-organizational collaboration. Basic attitudes to learning evident in extant research -selfish, sharing and sidelined- are compared with those observed through research-oriented action research. A conceptualization based on a characterization of the attitudes observed in the research situations is produced. It models attitudes to learning in collaboration as bundles of varied stances relating to taking and giving knowledge from or to a partner, or excluding learning from the agenda altogether. The observations suggest that actual attitudes - which are evident at individual, community or organizational level - are much more varied than the basic attitudes and that they often include elements of all three -sidelined, selfish and sharing- motivations. The model acknowledges differences in perceptions of attitudes, differences of attitudes within partner organizations as well as between them, and differences in partners' attitudes to each other over time.