انتقال دانش در شرکت های چند ملیتی : بررسی چگونگی تاثیر انگیزش های ذاتی و منابع دانش روی مرکزیت فرد و عملکرد
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|4879||2009||17 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of International Management, Volume 15, Issue 1, March 2009, Pages 15–31
Studies investigating individual performance in knowledge-intensive work are finding that individual performance is a result, to some degree, of obtaining the right information to solve novel, challenging problems. Yet we know little about the role that the individual plays in the knowledge processes in multinationals and the relationship between individual knowledge sourcing activities and performance. Our expectation is that successful knowledge transfer will be based on an individual's intrinsic motivation, access to knowledge from explicit or tacit knowledge sources within and across firm boundaries, and position in the overall advice network of the multinational corporation. Using survey and social network data collected in one multinational consulting firm, we investigated the knowledge sourcing activities and informal advice networks for 1439 of the entire 1698 individuals in one multinational spread across 28 offices (84.7% response rate). Through hierarchical regression analysis we find that 1) intrinsic motivations are strongly related to creativity and efficiency and 2) MNCs should support individual level activities that include not only the use of internal knowledge sources but also the use of external knowledge sources. Research results also suggest that 3) there are different patterns of knowledge sourcing activities based on whether efficient or creative performance is the goal and 4) these differ significantly depending upon the functional group to which the individual belongs. Implications for theories of the knowledge-based view of the multinational corporation and practical implications for managers are discussed.
One of the key issues underlying the knowledge-based view in multinational corporations (MNCs) is the need to understand how knowledge is integrated across geographically dispersed units (Hansen, 1996). According to the knowledge-based view of the firm, the purpose of the multinational firm is not to divide a given task into activities to be performed efficiently by different subsidiaries, but to position the firm so that “separate knowledge pieces” from across the organization may be combined to initiate new tasks (Hedlund, 1994). Knowledge integration within a multinational context has been defined as “the process of searching for and transferring knowledge through the interunit network” (Hansen, 1996:1). However, as many MNCs continue to expand their operations and thereby increase the number of geographically dispersed locations, employees, functions, and external partners, the task of effectively making use of distributed knowledge becomes ever more challenging. In addition, there is increasing pressure on MNCs to do a better job of gaining access to new knowledge from their business environments (Bartlett and Ghoshal, 1989, Doz and Hamel, 1997 and Hedlund and Nonaka, 1993), due to shrinking product lifecycles, the need for integration across an increasing diversity of technologies in products and services, and higher levels of competition from new competitors crossing not only geographical but industrial boundaries as well (Boland and Tenkasi, 1995 and Purser et al., 1992). As a result, MNCs need to tap into external knowledge sources to update and renew existing knowledge bases (Birkinshaw, 2001). To date, the focus of knowledge-based research in the MNC tends to be at the firm, unit, subsidiary, and project levels (e.g., Foss and Pedersen, 2004, Hansen, 1999, Tsai and Ghoshal, 1998 and Szulanski, 1996), often concentrating on aggregate concepts such as capabilities, knowledge assets, and knowledge processes without an understanding of how they are related to individual behavior (Foss and Pedersen, 2004). Despite proponents of the knowledge-based view of the firm arguing for the importance of the individual, there are few studies investigating the individual's role in the knowledge processes of multinationals. Nonaka (1994:17) states, “At a fundamental level, knowledge is created by individuals”, and Grant argues that competitive advantage results from how effective a firm is in integrating the specialized knowledge of its members (Grant, 1996a and Grant, 1996b). Hedlund (1994) suggests that one of the major characteristics that makes the firm unique is its ability to transfer knowledge between levels of analysis, e.g., from the individual level to the firm level and vice versa. Moreover, as no one individual possesses all of the knowledge required for the global management of a multinational's inter-related activities, the knowledge that is divided and dispersed among individuals specializing in distinct knowledge areas must be integrated in order for decisions and actions to be successful (Björkman et al., 2004). The purpose of this research is to advance the knowledge-based view of MNCs by examining knowledge flows and performance at the individual level of analysis. We investigate how individuals within one multinational consulting organization (Icon Medialab) obtain knowledge from codified documents (explicit knowledge) and person to person interactions (tacit knowledge), as well as the extent to which individuals seek knowledge internal to the MNC (internal) or knowledge that crosses firm boundaries (external). We then examine the degree to which an individual's intrinsic motivations and knowledge sourcing impacts his/her centrality in the MNC and performance. We further investigate whether the impact on performance differs based on the functional role of the individual within the MNC. Through the administration of a web-based questionnaire to all employees in the firm, we collected survey and social network data on the task-related networks of 1439 individuals, spread across 28 offices in 16 countries in Asia, the United States, and Europe. Such inquiry makes three important contributions. First, this research empirically examines the differential impacts of intrinsic motivations, explicit knowledge transfer, and tacit knowledge integration on individual centrality in the overall advice network of a multinational organization and individual performance in complex knowledge environments. Second, this research includes the examination of internal and external knowledge sources as well as considers the functional role (primary versus support) of the individual. Finally, this research makes possible more precise theoretical models of how MNCs may design their organizations and their knowledge management activities to support knowledge flows and the creation of new knowledge to enhance individual and thus organizational performance. This article is organized as follows. In the following section, we develop a conceptual model and a set of hypotheses related to the relationships between intrinsic motivations, knowledge sourcing, and individual centrality and performance. Section 3 describes the research methodology and provides a description of the research site. Section 4 reports the results of the empirical study while the last section provides a discussion of the results and the implications of this research for theory and practice.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Despite the strengths of this study involving a large, all-inclusive multinational organization, we should also note the limitations of the study. First, this study only examines individuals within one company within one industry, thus limiting the generalizability of our findings. Further research should examine activities related to individual knowledge sourcing activities and their relationship to individual performance across multiple organizations. Second, data were collected at one point in time. Another limitation is our use of self-reported survey measures for performance only. Thus, future research should include objective data sources in addition to survey data as well the collection of data over time to further establish the relationship to performance. Another extension is to look at the strength of the relationships between individuals in the advice networks. Previous research at the unit level of analysis suggests that the relationship between performance and centrality is dependent upon the type of knowledge being transferred as well as the strength of the tie (Hansen, 1996). Thus, future research should incorporate the different dimensions of knowledge as well as tie strength. Additionally, this study did not examine the extent to which individual knowledge sourcing activities are more focused towards exploiting existing channels of communication, or discovering new channels of communication (Birkinshaw, 2001 and Ghoshal et al., 1994). Examining how individuals choose among the different sources of knowledge for the purposes of discovering new knowledge and making new inter-personal connections is an important area for future research. In conclusion, this research set out to investigate the activities related to knowledge sourcing activities at the individual level within a multinational firm. We find that knowledge sourcing differs depending upon whether efficient or creative performance is the desired outcome as well as the functional group. In terms of implications, one of the most interesting results from this research is that organizational and professional commitment are the most consistent predictors of individual performance, and the extent to which knowledge sourcing activities access knowledge from external, network-based sources, indicating a firm's external boundaries are porous. Individuals rely on the use of codified external knowledge sources as well as their external informal networks to solve their everyday work-related problems. These findings clearly imply that researchers and practitioners alike need to further investigate these inter-organizational knowledge flows and the impact that these have on competitive advantage and multinational performance.