Online from: 1982
Subject Area: Information and Knowledge Management
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|Title:||Knowledge transfer processes for different experience levels of knowledge recipients at an offshore technical support center|
|Author(s):||Jihong Chen, (Department of Management Systems, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand), Robert J. McQueen, (Department of Management Systems, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand)|
|Citation:||Jihong Chen, Robert J. McQueen, (2010) "Knowledge transfer processes for different experience levels of knowledge recipients at an offshore technical support center", Information Technology & People, Vol. 23 Iss: 1, pp.54 - 79|
|Keywords:||China, Cross-cultural studies, Knowledge transfer, Outsourcing, United States of America|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/09593841011022546 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
Purpose – This paper aims to focus on the relationships between the levels of knowledge and the type of knowledge transfer approaches, and the relationships between the types of knowledge and the knowledge transfer approaches which were adopted in a study of knowledge transfer from a US-based technical support center to an offshore support center in China.
Design/methodology/approach – The research was conducted as an interpretive case study. Three techniques (i.e. document review, participant observation, and semi-structured interviews) were employed for data collection in the field.
Findings – The findings indicate that the lower the level of recipient absorptive and retentive capacity, the more difficulty the recipient will have in acquiring tacit and complex types of knowledge, and the more formal structured knowledge transfer approach the recipient will need to adopt. The results identify that “structured transfer stages” was used by novices to transfer embrained and encoded knowledge, while “unstructured copy” was widely adopted by advanced beginners to transfer encoded and embodied knowledge, “unstructured adaptation” was mainly utilized by those at the competence level to transfer embodied and embedded knowledge, and “unstructured fusion” was preferred by recipients at the proficiency level to transfer embodied and embedded knowledge as well.
Practical implications – The findings contribute to an understanding of the knowledge transfer processes required when US-based firms outsource business processes to offshore countries with significantly different cultural contexts. The findings also reflect the testing of possible analytical structures for understanding the processes of knowledge transfer, and the mechanisms for knowledge transfer in a cross-cultural business context.
Originality/value – The paper provides new insights into the knowledge transfer process for different levels of knowledge acquisition in a cross-cultural business context.
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