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Knowledge embeddedness and the transfer mechanisms in multinational corporations

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  • Hong, Jacky F.L.
  • Nguyen, Thang V.
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    Abstract

    This paper reports a qualitative study conducted at four Japanese subsidiaries in China and Vietnam about their process of international knowledge transfer. Building on the literatures concerning the diverse types and characteristics of knowledge in multinational corporations (MNCs), we explore the broad mechanisms adopted and locally generated by the host country subsidiaries for transferring the foreign knowledge and putting the locally embedded knowledge into practical use at the local settings. The findings indicated (1) the limitations of applying a standardized and universal set of knowledge transfer mechanisms without considering local idiosyncrasies and (2) the contributions of local agents and institutions throughout the process of local knowledge adaptation and development.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of World Business.

    Volume (Year): 44 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 4 (October)
    Pages: 347-356

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:worbus:v:44:y:2009:i:4:p:347-356

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    Related research

    Keywords: Knowledge embeddedness Knowledge transfer mechanisms Multinational corporations Japanese transplants;

    References

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    1. Jacky F. L. Hong & Mark Easterby-Smith & Robin Stanley Snell, 2006. "Transferring Organizational Learning Systems to Japanese Subsidiaries in China," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(5), pages 1027-1058, 07.
    2. Thang, Le Chien & Rowley, Chris & Quang, Truong & Warner, Malcolm, 2007. "To what extent can management practices be transferred between countries?: The case of human resource management in Vietnam," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 113-127, March.
    3. D Minbaeva & T Pedersen & I Bj�rkman & C F Fey & H J Park, 2003. "MNC knowledge transfer, subsidiary absorptive capacity, and HRM," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 34(6), pages 586-599, November.
    4. Ingmar Bj�rkman & Wilhelm Barner-Rasmussen & Li Li, 2004. "Managing knowledge transfer in MNCs: the impact of headquarters control mechanisms," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 35(5), pages 443-455, September.
    5. Ram Mudambi & Pietro Navarra, 2004. "Is knowledge power? Knowledge flows, subsidiary power and rent-seeking within MNCs," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 35(5), pages 385-406, September.
    6. Robert Jensen & Gabriel Szulanski, 2004. "Stickiness and the adaptation of organizational practices in cross-border knowledge transfers," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 35(6), pages 508-523, November.
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    9. Von Krogh, Georg & Nonaka, Ikujiro & Ichijo, Kazuo, 1997. "Develop knowledge activists!," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 475-483, October.
    10. Israel M. Kirzner, 1997. "Entrepreneurial Discovery and the Competitive Market Process: An Austrian Approach," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 60-85, March.
    11. Jan Johanson & Jan-Erik Vahlne, 1977. "The Internationalization Process of the Firm—A Model of Knowledge Development and Increasing Foreign Market Commitments," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 8(1), pages 23-32, March.
    12. Nordman, Emilia Rovira & Melén, Sara, 2008. "The impact of different kinds of knowledge for the internationalization process of Born Globals in the biotech business," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 171-185, March.
    13. Peter J Buckley & Martin J Carter, 2004. "A formal analysis of knowledge combination in multinational enterprises," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 35(5), pages 371-384, September.
    14. X Martin & R Salomon, 2003. "Knowledge transfer capacity and its implications for the theory of the multinational corporation," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 34(4), pages 356-373, July.
    15. Bruce Kogut & Udo Zander, 1993. "Knowledge of the Firm and the Evolutionary Theory of the Multinational Corporation," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 24(4), pages 625-645, December.
    16. Demirbag, Mehmet & Glaister, Keith W. & Tatoglu, Ekrem, 2007. "Institutional and transaction cost influences on MNEs' ownership strategies of their affiliates: Evidence from an emerging market," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 418-434, December.
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    18. Eric von Hippel, 1994. ""Sticky Information" and the Locus of Problem Solving: Implications for Innovation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(4), pages 429-439, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Kasper, Helmut & Lehrer, Mark & Mühlbacher, Jürgen & Müller, Barbara, 2013. "On the different “worlds” of intra-organizational knowledge management: Understanding idiosyncratic variation in MNC cross-site knowledge-sharing practices," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 326-338.
    2. Rabbiosi, Larissa & Santangelo, Grazia D., 2013. "Parent company benefits from reverse knowledge transfer: The role of the liability of newness in MNEs," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 160-170.
    3. Fang, Yulin & Wade, Michael & Delios, Andrew & Beamish, Paul W., 2013. "An exploration of multinational enterprise knowledge resources and foreign subsidiary performance," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 30-38.
    4. Ciabuschi, Francesco & Dellestrand, Henrik & Kappen, Philip, 2012. "The good, the bad, and the ugly: Technology transfer competence, rent-seeking, and bargaining power," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 664-674.
    5. Lema, Rasmus & Quadros, Ruy & Schmitz, Hubert, 2012. "Shifts in Innovation Power to Brazil and India: Insights from the Auto and Software Industries," MPRA Paper 49591, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Patriotta, Gerardo & Castellano, Anna & Wright, Mike, 2013. "Coordinating knowledge transfer: Global managers as higher-level intermediaries," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 515-526.
    7. 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.

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