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Process and structure in knowledge management practices of British and US multinational enterprises

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  • Buckley, Peter J.
  • Carter, Martin J.
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    Abstract

    This paper suggests that the conventional opposition of 'global' versus 'local' strategies in knowledge management processes is not only unhelpful but misleading. It investigates the process of knowledge management, its impact on organisational structure and, in particular, its spatial aspects. Using three detailed case studies of multinational firms, it finds that knowledge configurations, which are both dynamic and 'glocal', are utilised to extract value from sticky local sources of knowledge and to evolve better solutions. The paper moves away from the unidirectional flow of knowledge to a picture showing conflicts between the preexisting organisational structure and the desire to manage spatial separated knowledge sources. The analysis encompasses the strategic active subsidiary as a special, possibly intermediate case, of the problems of managing spatially separate knowledge sources.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Management.

    Volume (Year): 8 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 29-48

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:intman:v:8:y:2002:i:1:p:29-48

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    Related research

    Keywords: Knowledge management Spatial organisation of multinational firms Subsidiary strategies International knowledge transfer;

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Carter, Martin J, 1995. "Information and the Division of Labour: Implications for the Firm's Choice of Organisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(429), pages 385-97, March.
    2. Armen A. Alchian & Harold Demsetz, 1971. "Production, Information Costs and Economic Organizations," UCLA Economics Working Papers 10A, UCLA Department of Economics.
    3. Pearce, Robert, 1999. "The evolution of technology in multinational enterprises: the role of creative subsidiaries," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 125-148, April.
    4. Birkinshaw, Julian & Ridderstråle, Jonas, 1999. "Fighting the corporate immune system: a process study of subsidiary initiatives in multinational corporations," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 149-180, April.
    5. Nicolai J. Foss & Torben Pedersen, . "Transferring Knowledge in MNCs: The Role of Sources of Subsidiary Knowledge and Organizational Context," IVS/CBS Working Papers 00-12, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy, Copenhagen Business School.
    6. Peter Buckley & Martin Carter, 1996. "The Economics of Business Process Design: Motivation, Information and Coordination Within the Firm," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(1), pages 5-24.
    7. Forsgren, Mats & Pedersen, Torben & Foss, Nicolai J., 1999. "Accounting for the strengths of MNC subsidiaries: the case of foreign-owned firms in Denmark," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 181-196, April.
    8. Mudambi, Ram, 1999. "MNE internal capital markets and subsidiary strategic independence," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 197-211, April.
    9. Peter J Buckley & Mark C Casson, 1998. "Models of the Multinational Enterprise," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 29(1), pages 21-44, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Cepeda, Gabriel & Vera, Dusya, 2007. "Dynamic capabilities and operational capabilities: A knowledge management perspective," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 60(5), pages 426-437, May.
    2. Pinkse, Jonatan & Kuss, Matthias J. & Hoffmann, Volker H., 2010. "On the implementation of a 'global' environmental strategy: The role of absorptive capacity," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 160-177, April.
    3. Dorra Yahiaoui & Hela Chebbi, 2008. "Entre universalisme et contextualité des pratiques managériales dans les pays européens : l’hybridation est souvent la règle Between the universality and the contextuality of managerial practise," Working Papers 194, Laboratoire de Recherche sur l'Industrie et l'Innovation. ULCO / Research Unit on Industry and Innovation.
    4. Buckley, Peter J., 2009. "Internalisation thinking: From the multinational enterprise to the global factory," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 224-235, June.
    5. Liao, Chechen & Chuang, Shu-Hui & To, Pui-Lai, 2011. "How knowledge management mediates the relationship between environment and organizational structure," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 64(7), pages 728-736, July.
    6. M. Burker & C. Franco & G. A. Minerva, 2011. "Foreign ownership, firm performance, and the geography of civic capital," Working Papers wp782, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    7. Susanne Ollila & Anna Yström & Marine Agogué, 2013. "Stepping out of the zone of territorial protection enables open innovation collaboration," Post-Print hal-00931185, HAL.
    8. Yamin, Mo. & Otto, Juliet, 2004. "Patterns of knowledge flows and MNE innovative performance," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 239-258.
    9. Michailova, Snejina & Mustaffa, Zaidah, 2012. "Subsidiary knowledge flows in multinational corporations: Research accomplishments, gaps, and opportunities," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 383-396.
    10. Sluismans,Raf, 2003. "Looking for synergy in organizations: The role of the concept of configuration in contemporary theory," Research Memorandum 014, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    11. Moore, Fiona, 2012. "Identity, knowledge and strategy in the UK subsidiary of an Anglo-German automobile manufacturer," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 281-292.

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