Journal of International Business Studies

, Volume 35, Issue 5, pp 371–384 | Cite as

A formal analysis of knowledge combination in multinational enterprises

  • Peter J BuckleyEmail author
  • Martin J Carter


This paper outlines a model of process organisation for the combination of different types of knowledge from spatially separated sources in the multinational enterprise. The model envisages an initiator-entrepreneur as the motor of the process, and identifies regularities in the types of knowledge combination within the firm that provide additional value. Knowledge losses, decision losses and coordination losses are imperfections in the process, and result in barriers to the effective combination of knowledge. Strategies of combination are of three types – additive, sequential and complex – implying different types of control outcomes.


knowledge management multinational enterprises process model 



This research was conducted with the help of financial support from the Carnegie Bosch Institute for Applied Studies in International Management, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. We are grateful to three anonymous referees and the editor of this Special Issue for their insightful and supportive comments.


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Copyright information

© Academy of International Business 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for International Business University of Leeds, Leeds University Business SchoolUK
  2. 2.Leeds University Business SchoolUK

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