Abualqumboz, Moheeb and Chan, Paul (2013) Inter-organisational learning in project based organisations: Perspectives on reciprocity. In: BAM 2013, 10th - 12th September 2013, Liverpool, UK.

This developmental paper discusses early research findings on the role that reciprocity plays in fostering or hindering inter-organisational learning in networks. Reciprocity as a social norm in knowledge creation and sharing networks is the main theme of this research. The paper uses two case studies of networks in UK. The qualitative case studies were developed through a mixture of participant observations, semi-structured interviews and casual conversations with network administrators and participants. Reciprocal exchanges were evident in networks. However, variations in what reciprocal exchanges meant for the participants were observed. Consequently, our findings suggest that the taken-for-granted idea that reciprocity is always good should be critically challenged. Often, we have observed asymmetrical reciprocal exchanges in participants tend to expect more from the networks than they would give. Therefore, this research suggests the need for remaining circumspect about the positive outcomes of networks that are often implicitly assumed.

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