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Social Network and Inter-Organizational Learning: The Case of a Brazilian Cooperative of Fish-Farmers

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DOI: 10.4236/sn.2013.22010    3,813 Downloads   6,893 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

The inter-organizational learning approach has shown considerable growth in recent years. The concepts of trust and cooperation between individuals present in the New Economic Sociology (NES) approach of social relations emerge with great emphasis and are gaining prominence as a facilitator and propellant mechanism in transferring knowledge inside networks. This study aims to analyze the learning networks formed by fish-farmers organized into a cooperative to identify the characteristics of the network through structural analysis and identification of its critical actors. The study was performed with thirteen fish-farmers of a cooperative headquartered inMundo Novocounty, which is located inMato Grosso do Sulstate in the Midwest region of Brazil. Questionnaires and interviews with closed and open questions were used to collect the data. Measures of centrality (for individuals), density and reciprocity (in relations between individuals) were obtained from ORA software. The findings revealed that experience exchanges between fish-farmers, events participation, meetings attendance, speech audience and technical advice are the main forms of inter-organizational learning. Results suggest that the network has low levels of cohesion and that it is not taking advantage of its full potential. It was also found that there is a subgroup within the network that presents a high level of cohesion and shared learning based on cooperative informal relationships. Grounded in findings, suggestions for future research are presented.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Maria Kremer, A. and Talamini, E. (2013) Social Network and Inter-Organizational Learning: The Case of a Brazilian Cooperative of Fish-Farmers. Social Networking, 2, 87-97. doi: 10.4236/sn.2013.22010.

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