Session Details: Session 1036

Knowledge and Learning

Track A

Date: Monday, October 13, 2008


Time: 11:15 – 12:30

Common Ground

Room: Salon 6

Stefan Gueldenberg, University of Liechtenstein

Title: Bringing Learning Back to Knowledge Transfer: Reconciling Replication and Adaptation


  • Paulo Prochno, University of Maryland

Abstract: This paper brings a discussion on the evolution of learning in a knowledge transfer process, based on a one-year ethnography that followed a complex cross-border transfer of multiple practices. This transfer process suggests that, even in instances where full replication is desired and planned for, adaptation emerges as actors develop higher-order learning capabilities. This suggests that the main focus for managers when putting into practice a knowledge transfer process should not be on whether to adapt practices or not, but on accelerating higher-order learning at the recipient unit so adaptation and the benefits associated with it can emerge from the initial planned replication

Title: Chambre Séparée in Product Development: Learning by Cooperating in the Automotive Industry


  • Ove Brandes, Linköping University
  • Staffan Brege, IEI, Linköping university, Sweden
  • Per-Olof Brehmer, Linköping University

Abstract: Our aim is to study knowledge management in the development of new products and models. Our empirical data is from a longitudinal (1994-2007) case study of Volvo Cars and Autoliv. Our research questions: How can a technology leader get access to scale economies via a supplier in a sequence of product developments without giving up the leadership and competitive advantage? Can a core competence be outsourced and still be controlled by the OEM? We have developed the concept or metaphor of Chambre séparée for the management of knowledge between one lead firm, a prime supplier and there competing customers. Chambre séparée can be seen as a development of Lorenzoni and Lipparini (1994) and Dyer and Nobeoka (2000) findings.

Title: Knowledge Management in the SME and its Relationship to Strategy, Ownership Structure and Organization Learning


  • Haibo Zhou, University of Groningen
  • Lorraine Uhlaner, EDHEC Business School
  • Sita Tan, EIM (Panteia)

Abstract: Knowledge management (KM) is becoming a growing concern in management research and practice because of its role in determining firm innovation capability and in enhancing working life quality of knowledge workers. However, there is limited attention being paid to understand the specifics of KM issues of SMEs in particular. This study aims to examine KM among SMEs based on data of nearly 500 Dutch SMEs. We investigate the prevalence of different KM practices and the determinants of KM. Preliminary results show that knowledge is managed in a people-based approach in SMEs. KM is dependent on other organizational resources and processes, for instance organizational learning and competitive strategy, inside SMEs.

Title: Mechanisms and Rents: The Social Learning Cycle for r- and K-Strategies


  • Yasmin Merali, University of Hull
  • Max Boisot, Ramon Llull University

Abstract: We focuse on Arrow’s articulation of the problem of under-investment in the type of knowledge that is useful for innovation, and March’s articulation of under-investment in exploration. We draw on concepts from ecological and evolutionary theories to develop propositions for addressing the problems of under-supply through a synergistic mechanism enabling r- and K- strategists to realise synergies in the creation and exercising of options in the evolving competitive landscape. We illustrate this mechanism with two examples from the digital economy showing how this can be achieved by differential generation and distribution of rents amongst heterogeneous players across the learning cycle. We reflect on governance mechanisms demonstrated in our examples and their implications for the knowledge-based theory of the firm.

Title: Organizational Tradeoffs and the Dynamics of Search and Coordination


  • Stephan Billinger, University of Southern Denmark
  • Nils Stieglitz, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management

Abstract: The paper analyzes the interactions and tradeoffs that result from coordinating distributed search processes within a firm. Based on a longitudinal case study of a European apparel manufacturer, our analysis finds an antagonistic relationship between search and coordination, originating from four fundamental tradeoffs. These organizational tradeoffs are related to (1) the specialization of tasks, (2) the interdependencies between tasks, (3) the delegation of and constraints within tasks, and (4) the incentives for organizational members to accomplish tasks. The findings shed new light on the importance of organizing distributed search and learning processes and provide guiding principles for organization design.

Title: The Role of the Learning Intent in the Board Interlocks Dynamics


  • Rosa Caiazza, Parthenope University of Naples
  • Michele Simoni, Parthenope University of Naples

Abstract: Literature generally agrees on the idea that board interlocks are an effective means for firms to exchange information and to share knowledge. In this work we argue that four types of learning intent can be recognised as drivers for the interlocks creation. The first two types deal more strictly with the nature of the knowledge that is purposely searched through the interlock formation. The other two respond to the willingness of the firms to maximise their exposure to other sources of knowledge. Our longitudinal analysis on Italian firms shows that not all the four types of learning intents have led the behaviour of Italian firms in the last years; even if those that proved to be relevant are learning intents persistent over time.

All Sessions in Track A...

Mon: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 1036: Knowledge and Learning
Mon: 15:30 – 16:45
Session 1041: Knowledge, Collaboration, and Performance
Session 1061: Inter-Organizational Knowledge Transfer
Mon: 17:00 – 18:15
Session 1040: Knowledge Transfer and Diffusion
Session 1042: Capabilities, Value Creation, and Performance
Tue: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 1035: Strategic Dynamics in Industry Architectures: The Challenges of Knowledge Integration
Session 1055: Governing Knowledge in Interorganizational Relationships
Tue: 14:30 – 15:45
Session 1039: Knowledge and Governance
Session 1045: Capabilities and Governance
Session 1056: Discussing Approaches on How Knowledge Matters in Organizations
Wed: 10:00 – 11:15
Session 1038: Knowledge and Networks
Session 1057: Knowledge as a Driver of Innovation, Learning and Competence-Building
Wed: 11:30 – 12:45
Session 1044: Technology and Performance
Session 1046: Knowledge Across Boundaries
Session 1058: Knowledge Strategies: Collaboration and Governance

Strategic Management Society

Cologne Conference