Online from: 1994
Subject Area: Organization Studies
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|Title:||Transferring codified knowledge: socio-technical versus top-down approaches|
|Author(s):||Gustavo Guzman, (Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia), Luiz F. Trivelato, (Faculdade Pitágoras, Betim, MG, Brazil)|
|Citation:||Gustavo Guzman, Luiz F. Trivelato, (2008) "Transferring codified knowledge: socio-technical versus top-down approaches", Learning Organization, The, Vol. 15 Iss: 3, pp.251 - 276|
|Keywords:||ISO 9000 series, Knowledge management, Knowledge transfer|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/09696470810868873 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
|Acknowledgements:||The authors thanks to Ann Majchrzak, Sara Rynes, Colin Mackerras, Royce Sadler, Nerina Vecchio, Ruth McPhail, Kay Bryant, Arthur Poropat, Lisa McManus, Don Kerr, and to anonymous reviewers of the 66th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management and of The Learning Organization for their helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper.|
Purpose – This paper aims to analyse and evaluate the transfer process of codified knowledge (CK) performed under two different approaches: the “socio-technical” and the “top-down”. It is argued that the socio-technical approach supports the transfer of CK better than the top-down approach.
Design/methodology/approach – Case study methodology was used, in the explanatory and qualitative study. The empirical evidence focused on the development of work standards following ISO 9000 norms at a Steelworks plant. This process was examined as a process of CK transfer.
Findings – First, the socio-technical approach supports the process of CK transfer better than the top-down view. Second, CK is a dynamic concept that may need different varying amounts of tacit knowledge in order to enable knowledge codification and assimilation. Three, the examination of the degree of context and task similarity between sender and receiving units needs to be detailed, since small variations in organizational processes might imply significant alterations on informal work practices, a key issue that affects the CK transfer process.
Research limitations/implications – This study, on the one hand, might assist to further develop theories of knowledge transfer, such as Argote's
Practical implications – Research finding contain practical advice that can the taken up by practitioners.
Originality/value – By focusing on different approaches to transfer CK, this study has filled a research gap in the CK transfer literature.
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