From Knowledge Transfer of MNEs to Upgrading of Chinese OEM Suppliers: Theoretical Analysis and Case Study

Living reference work entry


Participating in global value chain (GVC) under OEM arrangements provides Chinese OEM suppliers with opportunity and possibility to acquire knowledge from multinational enterprises (MNEs) and achieve capability upgrading. This paper combines insights from GVC and organizational learning literature to develop a framework for the analysis of the process from knowledge transfer from MNEs to capability upgrading of OEM suppliers. First, the knowledge transfer activities are divided into four types based onto the nature of transfer knowledge and the knowledge classification. Second, the dynamic process in which OEM suppliers assimilate the transferred knowledge is explored. Third, the effect of knowledge transfer on OEM suppliers’ capability upgrading and its limitation is discussed. After the theoretical analysis, this paper examines a Chinese kitchen-appliance company, Tsingtao XB Electrical Appliances, analyzing the knowledge transfer activities from MNEs to XB, the knowledge assimilation within XB, and the effect of knowledge transfer on XB’s capability upgrading.


GVC Knowledge transfer Chinese OEM suppliers Upgrading Tsingtao XB Electrical Appliances Company 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Central University of Finance and EconomicsBeijingChina
  2. 2.Beijing Language and Culture UniversityBeijingChina

Section editors and affiliations

  • Song Lin
    • 1
  1. 1.Business SchoolCentral University of Finance and EconomicsBeijingChina

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