The interplay between formality and informality in managed learning networks

Nicholas Marshall, George Tsekouras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper offers an empirical exploration of group-level knowledge practices in a university-managed learning network of small and medium sized enterprises. Managed learning networks are an example of an intermediate form of network relationship with both formal and informal elements. The aim of the paper is to help understand the implications of the degree of formality/informality for group-based learning. This is based on a multi-dimensional conception of formalisation that focuses specifically on two dimensions: firstly, formality as a feature of rule-guided behaviour and secondly, as a characteristic of the social and emotional dynamics of groups. The interplay between these dimensions is examined and an initial framework suggesting the implications of alternative configurations for group learning is proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-308
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Strategic Business Alliances
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Learning networks
  • Formalisation
  • Group dynamics
  • Group learning
  • Small business/SMEs
  • Social rules
  • ProfitNet


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