Advertisement

Contextual Transfer Barriers, Social Interaction, and Innovation Transfer Performance

  • Olivia H. Kang
  • Pao T. KaoEmail author
Chapter
Part of the The Academy of International Business book series (AIB)

Abstract

This chapter explores and explains the influence of social interaction on multinational corporations (MNCs) dealing with contextual transfer barriers. A sequential mixed-method research design is adopted to include both quantitative and qualitative studies on MNCs and their innovation transfer projects. The findings show that social interactions can improve transfer effectiveness when differences exist in market conditions, technology standard, and cultural and institutional settings in sender’s and receiver’s countries, as the social capital accumulated through individual connections can facilitate the quality of knowledge sharing. However, the transfer efficiency might be jeopardized because of the time and resource spent on the social interaction.

Keywords

Innovation transfer Knowledge sharing Social interaction Contextual transfer barrier Mixed-method 

References

  1. Adler, P. S., & Kwon, S.-W. (2002). Social capital: Prospects for a new concept. The Academy of Management Review, 27(1), 17–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ado, A., Su, Z., & Wanjiru, R. (2016). Learning and knowledge transfer in Africa-China JVs: Interplay between informalities, culture, and social capital. Journal of International Management, 23(2), 166–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Allen, T. J. (1977). Managing the flow of technology: Technology transfer and the dissemination of technological information within the R & D organization (Book). Research Supported by the National Science Foundation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 329p.Google Scholar
  4. Ambos, T. C., Ambos, B., & Schlegelmilch, B. B. (2006). Learning from foreign subsidiaries: An empirical investigation of headquarters’ benefits from reverse knowledge transfers. International Business Review, 15(3), 294–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Amesse, F., & Cohendet, P. (2001). Technology transfer revisited from the perspective of the knowledge-based economy. Research Policy, 30(9), 1459–1478.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Barner-Rasmussen, W., & Björkman, I. (2005). Surmounting interunit barriers factors associated with interunit communication intensity in the multinational corporation. International Studies of Management & Organization, 35(1), 28–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bartlett, C. A., & Ghoshal, S. (1989). Managing across borders: The transnational solution. London: Hutchinson Business.Google Scholar
  8. Birkinshaw, J., Bresman, H., & Nobel, R. (2010). Knowledge transfer in international acquisitions: A retrospective. Journal of International Business Studies, 41(1), 21–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Björkman, I., Barner-Rasmussen, W., & Li, L. (2004). Managing knowledge transfer in MNCs: The impact of headquarters control mechanisms. Journal of International Business Studies, 35(5), 443–455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bresman, H., Birkinshaw, J., & Nobel, R. (1999). Knowledge transfer in international acquisitions. Journal of International Business Studies, 30(3), 439–462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Briggs, S. R., & Cheek, J. M. (1986). The role of factor analysis in the development and evaluation of personality scales. Journal of Personality, 54(1), 106–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Buckley, P. J., & Casson, M. (1976). The future of the multinational enterprise. New York: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Buckley, P. J., Clegg, J., & Tan, H. (2003). The art of knowledge transfer: Secondary and reverse transfer in China’s telecommunications manufacturing industry. MIR: Management International Review, 43(2), 67–93.Google Scholar
  14. Busse, C., Schleper, M. C., Niu, M., & Wagner, S. M. (2016). Supplier development for sustainability: Contextual barriers in global supply chains. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 46(5), 442–468.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cassell, C., & Symon, G. (2004). Essential guide to qualitative methods in organizational research. London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ciabuschi, F., Dellestrand, H., & Kappen, P. (2011). Exploring the effects of vertical and lateral mechanisms in international knowledge transfer projects. Management International Review, 51(2), 129–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ciabuschi, F., Dellestrand, H., & Kappen, P. (2012). The good, the bad, and the ugly: Technology transfer competence, rent-seeking, and bargaining power. Journal of World Business, 47(4), 664–674.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Cohen, W. M., & Levinthal, D. A. (1990). Absorptive capacity: A new perspective on learning and innovation. Administrative Science Quarterly, 35(1), 128–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (4th ed.). Los Angeles/London/New Delhi/Singapore/Washington, DC: SAGE.Google Scholar
  20. Dhanaraj, C., Lyles, M. A., Steensma, H. K., & Tihanyi, L. (2004). Managing tacit and explicit knowledge transfer in IJVs: The role of relational embeddedness and the impact on performance. Journal of International Business Studies, 35(5), 428–442.  https://doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8400098.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Dunning, J. H. (1980). Toward an eclectic theory of international production: Some empirical tests. Journal of International Business Studies, 11(1), 9–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Dyer, J. H., & Hatch, N. W. (2006). Relation-specific capabilities and barriers to knowledge transfers: Creating advantage through network relationships. Strategic Management Journal, 27(8), 701–719.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Eden, L., & Miller, S. R. (2004). Distance matters: Liability of foreignness, institutional distance and ownership strategy. In Advances in international management (Vol. 16, pp. 187–221). Bingley: Emerald.Google Scholar
  24. Fishbein, M. (1963). An investigation of the relationships between beliefs about an object and the attitude toward that object. Human Relations, 16(3), 233–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Forsgren, M. (1997). The advantage paradox of the multinational corporation. In I. Bjorkman & M. Forsgren (Eds.), The nature of the international firm: Nordic contributions to international business research (1st ed., pp. 69–85). Copenhagen: Handelshojskolens Forlag.Google Scholar
  26. Forsgren, M., Holm, U., & Johanson, J. (2006). Managing the embedded multinational: A business network view. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.Google Scholar
  27. Fowler, F. J. (1993). Survey research methods (2nd ed.). Newbury Park: Sage.Google Scholar
  28. Ghoshal, S., & Bartlett, C. A. (1990). The multinational corporation as an interorganizational network. The Academy of Management Review, 15(4), 603–625.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Ghoshal, S., Korine, H., & Szulanski, G. (1994). Interunit communication in multinational corporations. Management Science, 40(1), 96–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Gooderham, P., Minbaeva, D. B., & Pedersen, T. (2011). Governance mechanisms for the promotion of social capital for knowledge transfer in multinational corporations. Journal of Management Studies, 48(1), 123–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Granovetter, M. (1973). The strength of weak ties. The American Journal of Sociology, 78(6), 1360–1380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Granovetter, M. (1983). The strength of weak ties: A network theory revisited. Sociological Theory, 1, 201–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Gulati, R. (1995). Social structure and alliance formation patterns: A longitudinal analysis. Administrative Science Quarterly, 40(4), 619–652.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Gupta, A. K., & Govindarajan, V. (1994). Organizing for knowledge flows within MNCs. International Business Review, 3(4), 443–457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Gupta, A. K., & Govindarajan, V. (2000). Knowledge flows within multinational corporations. Strategic Management Journal, 21(4), 473–496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hair, J. F., Black, W. C., Babin, B. J., Anderson, R. E., & Tatham, R. L. (2006). Multivariate data analysis (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River: Pearson Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  37. Hansen, M. T. (1999). The search-transfer problem: The role of weak ties in sharing knowledge across organization subunits. Administrative Science Quarterly, 44(1), 82–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hansen, M. T., Mors, M. L., & Løvås, B. (2005). Knowledge sharing in organizations: Multiple networks, multiple phases. Academy of Management Journal, 48(5), 776–793.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Ho, M. H.-W., Ghauri, P. N., & Larimo, J. A. (2017, July). Institutional distance and knowledge acquisition in international buyer-supplier relationships: The moderating role of trust. Asia Pacific Journal of Management.Google Scholar
  40. Hutzschenreuter, T., & Matt, T. (2017). MNE internationalization patterns, the roles of knowledge stocks, and the portfolio of MNE subsidiaries. Journal of International Business Studies, 48(9), 1131–1150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Inkpen, A. C., & Beamish, P. W. (1997). Knowledge, bargaining power, and the instability of international joint ventures. The Academy of Management Review, 22(1), 177–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Inkpen, A. C., & Tsang, E. W. K. (2005). Social capital, networks, and knowledge transfer. Academy of Management Review, 30(1), 146–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Katz, R., & Allen, T. J. (1982). Investigating the not invented here (NIH) syndrome: A look at the performance, tenure, and communication patterns of 50 R & D project groups. R&D Management, 12(1), 7–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. King, N. (2004). Using interviews in qualitative research. In C. Cassell & G. Symon (Eds.), Essential guide to qualitative methods in organizational research (pp. 11–22). London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Kogut, B., & Zander, U. (1993). Knowledge of the firm and the evolutionary theory of the multinational corporation. Journal of International Business Studies, 24(4), 625–645.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Kostova, T., & Roth, K. (2002). Adoption of an organizational practice by subsidiaries of multinational corporations: Institutional and relational effects. The Academy of Management Journal, 45(1), 215–233.Google Scholar
  47. Kostova, T., & Roth, K. (2003). Social capital in multinational corporations and a micro-macro model of its formation. Academy of Management Review, 28(2), 297–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Kostova, T., Roth, K., & Dacin, M. T. (2008). Institutional theory in the study of multinational corporations: A critique and new directions. Academy of Management Review, 33(4), 994–1006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Kvale, S. (1996). Interviews: An introduction to qualitative research interviewing. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  50. Lane, P. J., Salk, J. E., & Lyles, M. A. (2001). Absorptive capacity, learning, and performance in international joint ventures. Strategic Management Journal, 22(12), 1139–1161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Lawson, B., Tyler, B., & Cousins, P. (2008). Antecedents and consequences of social capital on buyer performance improvement. Journal of Operations Management, 26(3), 446–460.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Lin, C., Tan, B., & Chang, S. (2008). An exploratory model of knowledge flow barriers within healthcare organizations. Information & Management, 45(5), 331–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Lynskey, M. J. (1999). The transfer of resources and competencies for developing technological capabilities-the case of Fujitsu-ICL. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 11(3), 317–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Mäkelä, K., Kalla, H. K., & Piekkari, R. (2007). Interpersonal similarity as a driver of knowledge sharing within multinational corporations. International Business Review, 16(1), 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Maurer, I., Bartsch, V., & Ebers, M. (2011). The value of intra-organizational social capital: How it fosters knowledge transfer, innovation performance, and growth. Organization Studies, 32(2), 157–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Michailova, S., & Husted, K. (2003). Knowledge-sharing hostility in Russian firms. California Management Review, 45(3), 59–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Nahapiet, J., & Ghoshal, S. (1998). Social capital, intellectual capital, and the organizational advantage. The Academy of Management Review, 23(2), 242–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Nelson, R., & Winter, S. (1982). An evolutionary theory of technical change. Cambridge, MA: Harvard.Google Scholar
  59. Noorderhaven, N., & Harzing, A.-W. (2009). Knowledge-sharing and social interaction within MNEs. Journal of International Business Studies, 40(5), 719–741.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Oh, H., Chung, M.-H., & Labianca, G. (2004). Group social capital and group effectiveness: The role of informal socializing ties. The Academy of Management Journal, 47(6), 860–875.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Pérez-Nordtvedt, L., Kedia, B. L., Datta, D. K., & Rasheed, A. A. (2008). Effectiveness and efficiency of cross-border knowledge transfer: An empirical examination. Journal of Management Studies, 45(4), 714–744.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Phillips, N., & Tracey, P. (2009). Institutional theory and the MNC. The Academy of Management Review, 34(1), 169–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Podsakoff, P. M., & Organ, D. W. (1986). Self-reports in organizational research: Problems and prospects. Journal of Management, 12(4), 531–544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Polanyi, M. (1967). The tacit dimension (Vol. 4). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  65. Schulz, M. (2003). Pathways of relevance: Exploring inflows of knowledge into subunits of multinational corporations. Organization Science, 14(4), 440–459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Silverman, D. (2010). Doing qualitative research: A practical handbook. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  67. Simonin, B. L. (1999). Ambiguity and the process of knowledge transfer in strategic alliances. Strategic Management Journal, 20(7), 595–623.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Szulanski, G. (1996). Exploring internal stickiness: Impediments to the transfer of best practice within the firm. Strategic Management Journal, 17(S2), 27–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Teece, D. J. (1977). Technology transfer by multinational firms: The resource cost of transferring technological know-how. The Economic Journal, 87(346), 242–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Vahlne, J.-E., & Johanson, J. (2017). From internationalization to evolution: The Uppsala model at 40 years. Journal of International Business Studies, 48(9), 1087–1102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Xu, D., & Shenkar, O. (2002). Institutional distance and the multinational Enterprise. The Academy of Management Review, 27(4), 608–618.Google Scholar
  72. Yeung, H. W. (1995). Qualitative personal interviews in international business research: Some lessons from a study of Hong Kong transnational corporations. International Business Review, 4(3), 313–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Yin, R. K. (2009). Case study research: Design and methods, Applied social research methods (Vol. 5, 4th ed.). Los Angeles: Sage.Google Scholar
  74. Zaheer, S. (1995). Overcoming the liability of foreignness. Academy of Management Journal, 38(2), 341–363.Google Scholar
  75. Zander, U., & Kogut, B. (1995). Knowledge and the speed of the transfer and imitation of organizational capabilities: An empirical test. Organization Science, 6(1), 76–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Business StudiesUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden

Personalised recommendations