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Journal cover: VINE


ISSN: 0305-5728

Online from: 1971

Subject Area: Information and Knowledge Management

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Accelerating acculturation through tacit knowledge flows: refining a grounded theory model

Document Information:
Title:Accelerating acculturation through tacit knowledge flows: refining a grounded theory model
Author(s):June G. Chin Yi Lee, (US Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, USA), Mark E. Nissen, (US Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, USA)
Citation:June G. Chin Yi Lee, Mark E. Nissen, (2010) "Accelerating acculturation through tacit knowledge flows: refining a grounded theory model", VINE, Vol. 40 Iss: 3/4, pp.312 - 325
Keywords:Acculturation, Acquisitions and mergers, Culture, Knowledge management
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/03055721011071430 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

PurposeIntercultural knowledge flows are critical to global enterprise performance, but the impact of knowledge management theory on such intercultural flows remains limited. This paper seeks to address this issue.

Design/methodology/approachThe present investigation builds on and partially validates two prior studies: research to integrate institutional theory with knowledge flow theory, which provides a powerful theoretical framework for understanding how tacit knowledge flows across cultures; and recent qualitative research, which has employed this framework to develop a theoretical model of acculturation. The present investigation refines this model by drawing in particular from the mergers and acquisitions literature to characterize both accelerators and decelerators of acculturation.

FindingsThe paper is able to identify theoretical dimensions to measure acculturative stress, a concept that proves to be useful in terms of validating, refining and simplifying the basic acculturation model.

Research limitations/implicationsThe refined acculturation model maintains the essential structure and many elements of the basic model, but it links more closely with extant theory as characterized by the mergers and acquisitions and trust literatures; hence it is more broadly generalizable. The refined model also links well to institutional theory and explains how to increase or decrease the tacit knowledge flows underlying acculturation to affect organizational outcomes.

Practical implicationsThe refined acculturation model provides the practicing leader and manager with clear insight into the kinds of promoters and inhibitors of intercultural knowledge flows, and identifies key actions that can be taken to affect such flows and the corresponding organizational outcomes.

Social implicationsThis paper elucidates both difficulties and opportunities associated with intercultural knowledge flows in today's global economy – difficulties and opportunities that will likely gain prominence as the world becomes increasingly global.

Originality/valueThe refined acculturation model makes both theoretical and practical contributions.

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