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The impact of distance on knowledge transfer effectiveness in multinational corporations

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  • Ambos, Tina C.
  • Ambos, Björn

Abstract

This paper aims to shed light on the interplay of knowledge transfer mechanisms and distance within the MNC. While it is largely undisputed that cross-boarder knowledge flows contribute to the firm's success, our knowledge on the effects of specific transfer mechanisms is scarce. We examine the impact of different dimensions of distance to test the applicability of personal coordination mechanisms (PCM) and technology-based coordination mechanisms (TCM) in situations of differentiation and dispersion. Data on 324 knowledge transfer relationships of MNC units was used to test our hypotheses. While TCM function relatively context-free, we find that PCM are moderated by distance. Our results support moderating effects of geographic, cultural and linguistic distance, which are vital to our understanding of knowledge transfer effectiveness in MNCs.

Suggested Citation

  • Ambos, Tina C. & Ambos, Björn, 2009. "The impact of distance on knowledge transfer effectiveness in multinational corporations," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 1-14, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:intman:v:15:y:2009:i:1:p:1-14
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