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An Empiraical Investigation of the Micro Structure of Knowledge Acquisition and Transfer Through Learning by Doing

Author

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  • Epple, D.
  • Argote, L.
  • Murphy, K.

Abstract

Does knowledge acquired through learning by doing on one shift transfer to a second shift when it is introduced at a manufacturing plant? The answer to this question has important theoretical implications about where knowledge is embedded in organizations and about sources of productivity growth. The answer also has important practical implications for managers planning to introduce additional facilities. This paper analyzes the amount of transfer across shifts at a manufacturing facility. Specifically, we analyze the amount of knowledge that is carried forward when the plant makes the transition from one to two shifts. We also investigate whether the rate of knowledge acquisition differs by shift, and we estimate the amount of transfer that occurs across shifts once both are in operation. In addition, we study transfer over time by analyzing whether knowledge acquired through learning by doing is cumulative and persists through time or whether it depreciates.
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Suggested Citation

  • Epple, D. & Argote, L. & Murphy, K., 1995. "An Empiraical Investigation of the Micro Structure of Knowledge Acquisition and Transfer Through Learning by Doing," GSIA Working Papers 1995-17, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:cmu:gsiawp:1995-17
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:kap:sbusec:v:49:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11187-016-9811-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Guy David & Tanguy Brachet, 2011. "On the Determinants of Organizational Forgetting," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 100-123, August.
    3. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List & Chad Syverson, 2013. "Toward an Understanding of Learning by Doing: Evidence from an Automobile Assembly Plant," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(4), pages 643-681.
    4. Peter Thompson, 2007. "How Much Did the Liberty Shipbuilders Forget?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(6), pages 908-918, June.
    5. Steven Levitt & John List & Chad Syverson, 2012. "Toward an Understanding of Learning by Doing: Evidence from an Automobile Plant," Natural Field Experiments 00463, The Field Experiments Website.
    6. Thompson, Peter, 2010. "Learning by Doing," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
    7. Lucia Piscitello & Larissa Rabbiosi, 2005. "The impact of inward FDI on local companies' labour productivity: evidence from the Italian case," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 35-51.
    8. Spanjer, Anne, 2017. "The impact of experience on the behavior and performance of self-employed and entrepreneurs. Three empirical studies," Other publications TiSEM 6684507a-1de9-47b5-9da7-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    9. Carolyn D. Egelman & Dennis Epple & Linda Argote & Erica R.H. Fuchs, 2013. "Learning by Doing in a Multi-Product Manufacturing Environment: Product Variety, Customizations, and Overlapping Product Generations," NBER Working Papers 19674, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Spanjer, Anne & van Witteloostuijn, Arjen, 2017. "The entrepreneur's experiential diversity and entrepreneurial performance," Other publications TiSEM c613c681-b545-4660-ad6a-4, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    11. Tonya Boone & Ram Ganeshan, 2008. "Knowledge acquisition and transfer among engineers: effects of network structure," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(5), pages 459-468.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    TRAINING; EDUCATION; INFORMATION;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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