Embedded firms, embedded knowledge: Problems of collaboration and knowledge transfer in global cooperative ventures

Lam, A. (1997) Embedded firms, embedded knowledge: Problems of collaboration and knowledge transfer in global cooperative ventures. Organization Studies, 18 (6). pp. 973-996. ISSN 0170-8406. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/017084069701800604

Abstract

Research on global cooperative ventures has tended to focus on governance forms and task structures. This study highlights the importance of knowledge structures and work systems in influencing the success of collaborative ventures. Based on an empirical analysis of a close collaboration in the knowledge-intensive area between a Japanese and a British high-technology firm, it illustrates how the socially embedded nature of knowledge can impede cross-border collaborative work and knowledge transfer. The research has applied and extended Michael Polanyi's concept of 'tacit knowledge' in a much wider context. It develops a conceptual framework for analyzing the main differences and 'points of friction' between the Japanese 'organizational' and the British 'professional' models of the organization of knowledge in high-level technical work. It shows how the dominant form of knowledge held in organizations, its degree of tacitness, and the way in which it is structured, utilized and transmitted can vary considerably between firms in different societal settings. These differences are shown to have contributed to project failures, weakened the technological relationship between the partner firms over time and led to asymmetry in knowledge transfer.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: knowledge transfer; technology and organization; tacit knowledge; cross-cultural management; cooperation; strategic alliances
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HA Statistics > HA33 Management Science
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Business School
Depositing User: M.A. Ziai
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2009 12:42
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2009 12:42
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/18149 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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