BAR. Brazilian Administration Review
versão On-line ISSN 1807-7692
ESTIVALETE, Vania de Fátima Barros; PEDROZO, Eugenio Avila e CRUZ, Luciano Barin. The learning process in interorganizational relationships. BAR, Braz. Adm. Rev. [online]. 2008, vol.5, n.4, pp. 319-331. ISSN 1807-7692. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1807-76922008000400006.
This study was inspired by the proposition developed by Karthik (2002) and applied to a context of horizontal interorganizational relations. Our main objective was to understand how the learning process between organizations inserted in networks occurs, from the perspective of the evolution of relationships over time. This study has a qualitative and exploratory nature, and the method adopted is the case study with multiple units of analysis. The research was carried out in a network of thirteen supermarket companies in the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The data was collected through individual interviews, questionnaires, documental sources and histories of learning. As the main contribution, we highlight the critical discussion made of the model proposed by Karthik (2002) as it is applied in horizontal networks: contradicting the author's suggestion, the results of this research reveal that there was a predominance of mutual learning in the initial stages of the companies' relationships and, as the relationships evolved, there was a predominance of unilateral learning. This change can be seen in the adoption of opportunist behavior and the predominance of structural characteristics of trust in the relationships established by the companies involved.
Palavras-chave : learning process; interorganizational relationships; networks.