Factors Influencing Effective Knowledge Transfer in Organizations

Factors Influencing Effective Knowledge Transfer in Organizations

Ömer Faruk Gürcan (İstanbul Technical University, Turkey) and Çiğdem Altın Gümüşsoy (İstanbul Technical University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3009-1.ch013
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Today, advances in information technology have increased the importance of knowledge day by day. Possessing knowledge and managing knowledge effectively are very important for firms to gain competitive advantage in rapidly changing environment conditions. Knowledge management helps to a firm to achieve its organizational objectives by making the best use of knowledge. It includes many processes. Knowledge transfer as one of the important processes in knowledge management, is defined as the transfer or dissemination of knowledge from one individual, group or organization to another. Effective knowledge transfer has many benefits to the firms. It increases the benefits that firms gain from knowledge. This study examines 11 factors based on literature review. Determining the factors influencing knowledge transfer will lead to a better understanding of the process and these factors can be used in other researches.
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Knowledge Transfer

There are various definitions of knowledge transfer in the literature. Knowledge transfer (KT) is a communication process between the source and the recipient (Cummings, 2003). When knowledge is transferred, it is learned, absorbed and applied by recipient that may induce changes in behavior or the development of new knowledge over time (Pham, 2008; Ko et al., 2005). In another definition, knowledge transfer is the process of applying knowledge acquired in one situation to another (Singley & Anderson, 1989).

Systematically organized information and skills are interchanged between parties (Duan et al., 2010). Some researchers use knowledge sharing or organizational learning as synonyms of knowledge transfer (Duan et al., 2010). According to different definitions of knowledge transfer, knowledge movement and its application by the recipient that leads to creation of new knowledge or changes in behavior are key aspects of knowledge transfer (Pham, 2008).

Current society is turning into knowledge society. Knowledge is shared between geographically messy individuals and organizations and through various national and cultural boundaries. In this regard, understanding how knowledge can be transferred from one organization or sub-unit to another is very important. Organizations should develop awareness of using the knowledge and should value transferring of knowledge (Yapar, 2010; Duan et al., 2010).

A fundamental area in knowledge management literature is to spread and make knowledge accessible and usable within or between organizations (Paulin & Suneson, 2012). Knowledge creation and codification are needed processes in knowledge management but these processes do not absolutely cause performance increases or value creation. Value is created when knowledge is shared and applied in essential areas of the organization. So firms’ competitive advantages mostly depend on knowledge diffusion and its application (Chen & Huang, 2007).

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