Transnational Knowledge Transfer

Transnational Knowledge Transfer

Yanqing Duan (University of Bedfordshire Business School, UK), Mark Xu (University of Portsmouth, UK) and Weizhe Feng (China Agricultural University, China)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-783-8.ch122
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Category: Processes of Knowledge Management



Defining Knowledge Transfer

There are many different definitions of knowledge transfer. For example, knowledge transfer is a process through which one unit (e.g. a group, a department, or a division) is affected by the experience of another (Argote & Ingram, 2000), a process of systematically organized exchange of information and skills between entities (Wong, Maher, Nicholson & Bai 2003), or any exchange of knowledge between or among individuals, teams, groups, or organisations (King, 2006). Some scholars (Cummings & Teng 2003; Nonaka & Toyama 2003) use the term ‘knowledge sharing’ rather than knowledge transfer. (Bresman, Birkinshaw & Nobel 1999) argue that there is no definite distinction among knowledge transfer and organizational learning. Although different terms have been used, most of them refer to the management of knowledge that is being transferred or shared at individual, intra-organizational or inter-organizational levels.

Transnational knowledge transfer is knowledge transfer across national boundaries. From an organizational perspective, transnational knowledge transfer can occur in many different forms at individual or organizational level, such as intra-organizational knowledge transfer within an international organization; inter-organizational knowledge transfer within a community or partnership; inter-organizational knowledge transfer among dispersed organizations in different nations, which may be sponsored by third parties such as international charities, international or national governing bodies. In the last few years, an increasing number of TKT projects have been set up aiming to engage developing countries to benefit from the know-how, best practice, innovation and technology advance from developed countries and to facilitate knowledge creation at the local level.

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