Session 227

Knowledge Transfer and Replication

Track I

Date: Monday, October 8, 2012


Time: 13:30 – 14:45


Room: Meeting Hall IV (a)

Session Chair:

  • Amit Jain, National University of Singapore

Title: Co-evolution of Knowledge Transfer and Absorptive Capacities in Emerging Market Acquisitions


  • Ieva Martinkenaite, Telenor Group
  • Randi Lunnan, BI Norwegian Business School

Abstract: This paper finds that the post-acquisition knowledge transfer debate underestimates the micro-level foundations of knowledge transfer and absorptive capacities of acquiring and target firms and ignores the existence of a continual dynamic interaction between these two organizational learning capabilities. We propose a co-evolutionary framework of knowledge transfer capacity and absorptive capacity where a three-way interaction of ability, motivation and opportunity to ‘teach’ and ‘learn’ explains how learning capabilities of acquisition partners interact and change and what knowledge outcomes this dynamic interaction generates. The paper builds on a longitudinal, exploratory case study analysis of knowledge transfer processes in emerging market acquisitions in the Baltic States.

Title: Knowledge as Ambidextrous Performance: A Critical Case Study of Strategic Transition


  • John Tull, University of Sydney

Abstract: This paper uses narrative analysis of two ‘strategic episodes’ of KM-based organizational renewal to explore strategy transition within a global consultancy. Insights gained into the resulting conflicts and contradictions highlight some of the limitations of conventional KM approaches. I adopt Boisot and MacMillan’s (2004) constructs of ‘managerial mindset’ and ‘entrepreneurial mindset’ to evaluate the phenomena in terms of there being two types of knowledge that those authors argue represent fundamental differences in epistemology. Critical analysis of a longitudinal case study suggests the need to go beyond those authors' exhortation to ‘counterbalance and complement’ with an ambidextrous framework that identifies opportunities to create a synthetic dynamic from otherwise coexisting but separate approaches, allowing actors to more flexibly engage with value-creating action through KM.

Title: Knowledge Replication without Imitation: An Empirical Study on the Characteristics of Knowledge


  • Bongsun Kim, Korea University Business School
  • Minyoung Kim, University of Kansas
  • Eonsoo Kim, Korea University

Abstract: Can a firm enhance internal knowledge replication while minimizing imitation by outsiders? This question represents an important dilemma, since knowledge that is easily replicated within the firm may also be easily imitated by competitors. While this subject has been mentioned in several studies, it has received limited research attention. This study empirically investigates which characteristics of knowledge increase the replication-imitation speed differentials. We consider replication and imitation as knowledge search process with which replicators have inherent advantage over imitators due to reduced physical and psychological distance and sharing of common code. Our main thesis is that certain knowledge characteristics, when combined with organizational advantage, can drive a wedge and enlarge the gap between replication and imitation. The preliminary empirical results support our prediction.

Title: Lost and Gone Forever? The Retrieval of Complex Knowledge after Spillovers


  • Tufool Alnuaimi, Imperial College London
  • Gerard George, Singapore Management University

Abstract: This study examines two aspects of knowledge spillovers: how they can be mitigated and, if they do occur, how lost knowledge can be retrieved. Firms deploy certain strategies to prevent knowledge from spilling over. We show that some strategies – although they can be successful at curbing spillovers – can also make it increasingly more difficult for firms to retrieve knowledge after spillovers. Moderate levels of knowledge complexity coupled with wide dispersion of its underlying elements can maximize the gap between internal and external appropriation. However, we also find that the interaction between the two is delicate, as minor variations could increase the rates of spillovers and decrease the rates of knowledge retrieval. We test our arguments using patents issued to emerging and advanced economy subsidiaries of 238 U.S. semiconductor firms during the 1980-2005 time-period.

All Sessions in Track I...

Sun: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 274: Knowledge Foundations: A Conversation with Robert Grant about the Knowledge Based View
Sun: 09:30 – 10:45
Session 273: Big Data, Knowledge and Innovation
Sun: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 275: The Changing Nature of Innovation in Emerging Economies
Sun: 15:15 – 16:30
Session 225: Intellectual Property Rights
Session 229: Structure and Innovation
Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 223: Individuals, Teams and Innovation
Session 242: R&D
Mon: 09:30 – 10:45
Session 140: Knowledge Management & Knowledge Structures: Who knows?
Session 226: Technology
Session 235: Learning
Mon: 13:30 – 14:45
Session 222: Integrating Knowledge about Knowledge Integration
Session 227: Knowledge Transfer and Replication
Mon: 16:30 – 17:45
Session 224: Absorptive Capacity
Session 236: Innovation and Performance
Tue: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 230: Ties, Networks, and Innovation
Session 237: Open Innovation
Tue: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 228: Exploration
Session 231: Alliance and Transfer
Tue: 14:15 – 15:30
Session 234: Incumbent Response to Foreign Entry and to Disruptive Innovation
Session 240: Capabilities
Tue: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 233: Structure and Transfer
Session 243: Entrepreneurs, Ventures, and Innovation
Tue: 17:30 – 18:45
Session 232: Innovation and Transfer
Session 239: Ambidexterity / Exploration and Exploitation
Session 244: Knowledge Management

Strategic Management Society