Creating and Transferring Knowledge for Productivity Improvement in Factories
Can a firm accelerate its learning curve if knowledge about the production function is incomplete? This article identifies a production line specifically set up to create technological knowledge about its production function through scientific experimentation (formal learning) as opposed to learning by doing. The organizational structure of this line was very successful in creating technological knowledge. Formal learning resulted in huge productivity improvements. Replication of this organizational structure on three production lines in other plants within the same firm fell short of expectations. Formal learning did not result in similar productivity improvements. Our research suggests two factors that may facilitate creation and transfer of technological knowledge: management buy-in and knowledge diversity to solve interdepartmental problems.
Volume (Year): 47 (2001)
Issue (Month): 10 (October)
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