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The determinants of international knowledge transfer effectiveness - conceptual advances and empirical verification

By Andreas G. Moosdorf


This thesis extends the academic debate on the determinants of international knowledge transfer effectiveness. In a sample of German organisations that transfer knowledge to\ud their Chinese subsidiaries, it is shown that organisations with distinct teaching skills (eloquent capacity) perform significantly better at intra-organisational, cross-border\ud knowledge transfers than other organisations. It is further illustrated that organisations with high levels of self-efficacy and low levels of partner differences develop significantly better eloquent capacity, channel capacity, and absorptive capacity. The thesis thereby provides\ud insights into the determinants of knowledge transfer effectiveness that go beyond the concepts established in the literature.\ud \ud It also contributes to established concepts. The thesis shows that absorptive capacity is partly absolute and relative. Furthermore, it extends the view that knowledge transfers between unequal partners fail due to a lack of absorptive capacity to the view that they fail because of a lack of eloquent and absorptive capacity.\ud \ud The thesis integrates the antecedent literature. Analogical reasoning reveals that theories on effective communication fully cover the empirical evidence on effective knowledge\ud transfers. As such, a holistic approach to understanding knowledge transfer effectiveness in a single theoretical framework is found. This helps to dispose of the lack of integration of research output in the discipline and offers other researchers a valuable framework within which research into knowledge transfer effectiveness can be conducted.\ud \ud The thesis contributes to research methodology by illustrating the value of combining conceptual, qualitative and quantitative findings. The qualitative and quantitative data collected from the same sample lead to seemingly opposing conclusions in one area of investigation. This apparent discrepancy is eliminated after the conceptual, qualitative and quantitative findings are triangulated and combined. The thesis thereby shows the value of a mixed-methods approach to understanding knowledge transfer effectiveness.\ud \ud In sum, the thesis offers advanced explanations for the empirical reality of international knowledge transfer effectiveness. It suggests methodologies and frameworks that can guide and improve future inquiries into the effectiveness of international knowledge transfers

Publisher: Leeds University Business School
Year: 2008
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