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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|3674||2011||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Production Economics, Volume 132, Issue 1, July 2011, Pages 68–78
This study uses competence transfer theory to establish a mechanism for transferring competences into an organization from the outside. It develops a research framework that describes the impact of communication on a firm's knowledge base and as well as its ability to bring external competence into the firm. Data were collected in the US from 288 manufacturing companies. The mechanism of competence transfer is empirically supported. As the level of transferred competences increase, a firm's manufacturing process competences including process automation, process integration, and process modularity increase. Furthermore, process competences lead to higher market performance.
The nature of competition in manufacturing has changed dramatically over the last two decades because the business environment is more complex and there are rapid changes in technology and customer expectations (Hsu et al., 2008). A firm's ability to enhance manufacturing system capability and improve market performance is vital to succeed in today's highly competitive global environment. According to Resource-advantage theory (R-A theory) of competition, it is the comparative advantages in resources that result in marketplace positions of competitive advantage (Hunt, 2000). The R-A theory extends the Resource-based theory (RBT) and describes competences as a firm's higher order capabilities that are composed of heterogeneous and imperfectly mobile resources (Hunt, 2000). Competences consist of skills, knowledge, and abilities that reside in a particular function such as research and development, manufacturing, and logistics, or in an asset. Therefore, a firm must be able to capture, transfer, assimilate, and apply competence to occupy marketplace positions of competitive advantage. Firms are looking for ways to continuously develop their competences and protect their sustainability (Chen and Wu, 2007 and Koskinen and Vanharanta, 2002). The R-A theory provides fertile ground for applying competence-based approaches to manufacturing and supply chain management (Hunt and Davis, 2008). It recognizes the dynamic nature of competence. The competences can be fostered, neutralized, or destroyed by changes in business environment. For instance, the value of resources could depreciate quickly because of changes in consumer tastes or governmental regulations (Hunt, 2000, p. 148). Evidence supporting a dynamic competence perspective at the individual (Koskinen and Pihlanto, 2006), organizational (Soderlund, 2008), and supply chain levels (Prevot and Spencer, 2006) is provided in recent studies. Therefore, firms should have mechanisms or high performance routines inside the firm, which is defined as dynamic capabilities by Teece and Pisano (1994) that allow the firm to update existing competences and add new ones. It is the dynamic capabilities that enable firms to transfer, adapt, and re-configure internal and external competences toward changing environment (Teece and Pisano, 1994; Macher and Mowery, 2009; Yang, 2010). This paper provides an empirical analysis of one type of dynamic capabilities—the external competence transfer mechanism with which a firm can develop and foster manufacturing capabilities. Although researchers have shown increased interests in competence transfer and development as an important strategic tool to create a sustainable competitive edge, little empirical analyses have explored the manner in which competences are reconfigured and renewed to build manufacturing system capability and improving market performance. There are two specific gaps in the literature. First, the main focus of existing studies is the exploration of internal manufacturing capabilities (Macher and Mowery, 2009; Dangayach and Deshmukh, 2004). These studies do not consider why firms should build external competences and use them to improve manufacturing systems capability and market performance. Recognizing the dynamic nature of competence, the theoretical underpinnings of competence development and transfer mechanism should be developed. Specifically, investigation into the impact of internal competences on inter-organizational competence transfer is needed to provide a foundation for understanding manufacturing systems capability development. Second, despite its importance and potential values to manufacturing strategy, critical analysis of the competence development and transfer mechanism for manufacturing has been restricted to case studies. An empirical study designed to validate a competence transfer mechanism would be valuable to extend research on this subject and provide implications to manufacturing practitioners. This research draws on strategic management and human resource management literature on competence and knowledge management capabilities at individual level within an organization, applying to the context of inter-organizational knowledge management to develop a definition of external competence transfer. Along with R-A theory, we develop and test a model that seeks to illustrate key internal competences and explain how they impact the firm's ability to execute external competence transfer, which, in turn, impacts its manufacturing system capabilities and market performance. This study develops valid and reliable measure of external competence transfer; and it tests the research framework using data collected from 288 manufacturing firms.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Recent studies have urged more research to explore mechanisms facilitating knowledge transfer from outside an organization, as well as how the mechanism could be improved with a firm's internal competence (Albino et al., 1999). This study has important implications for research and theory. Research concerning the current trend of building knowledge-related competence has considered the dynamic nature of competence but has been focusing on internal strategic management only. We have extended the research from R-A theory and knowledge management within a firm by empirically investigating inter-organizational competence transfer, its effects on manufacturing system capabilities and market performance, and factors impacting the firm's ability to execute external competence transfer. R-A theory incorporates the competence view of the firm and stresses the importance of competence in market performance. It also explains competition as an evolutionary and knowledge-discovery process. The results of this study suggest that it is essential to continuously improve individual knowledge competence (as comparative resource advantage) for effective external knowledge transfer, and further yield strong manufacturing capability and competitive market performance. With solid specialized knowledge, workers and manager are able to share knowledge in the responsibilities of external competence scanning, transferring, and learning. Therefore, this study obtained an understanding of the R-A theory in the context of manufacturing. Prior research on knowledge management and strategic management has relied on concepts of intellectual capital including human capital, social capital, and organizational capital (Hunt, 2000). Recent researches have suggested possible interaction among different intellectual capital (Yamao et al., 2009). Our results indicate that the improvement of internal knowledge base, the competence embedded in human capital, requires social capital of intensive interpersonal communication and interaction inside a firm. A firm should emphasize improving internal communicative competence in order to maintain human capital that is willing and capable of adapting to new knowledge and challenges. It is also critical to note that the relationship between communication climate and knowledge base is partially mediated by communication network. The partial mediation effect empirically illustrates the importance of exploring communication network structures in facilitating different knowledge transformation processes. This study also contributes important insights into intersection of operations and supply chain management and human resource management. The critical role of knowledge base in enhancing competence transfer across organizational boundaries suggests that it is important to purse a deeper understanding of association between human resource practices and knowledge-related outcomes in the context of operations and supply chain management. Human resource management (HRM) is characterized as a potentially important yet underutilized source of competitive advantage for firms. Particularly, the people factor is notable for its absence in literature on operations and supply chain management (Koulikoff-Souviron and Harrison, 2007). Our results imply that HR function plays a critical role in generating value in fostering individual competencies and further generating value in transferring knowledge along a supply chain. The results of this study suggest a number of implications for manufacturing firms to better understand how to facilitate competence transfer across organizational boundaries and further improve manufacturing system capability and market performance. Practitioners currently interested in promoting continuous improvement of external learning process should understand that it is a firm's internal knowledge base that underpins the competence of the acquisition and transferring of the external body of knowledge. Stronger internal knowledge base facilitates gaining insights into how firms can strategically exploit existing knowledge, and create new knowledge to quickly deliver value in a cost effective way. An external competence transfer mechanism allows a high level of interaction resulting in further dissemination and application of technical and management knowledge at the firm level. There is a strong human component to this form of corporate interaction. If workers and managers do not have enough specialized technical and managerial knowledge, they are lack of willingness and capabilities to effectively internalize knowledge from their relationships with customers and business partners. The value of on-going supplier and customer relationships diminishes because it becomes difficult for a firm to build a transfer-oriented mechanism in order to explore capabilities from business partners. Therefore, HR functions should be viewed from a strategic perspective. HR practices such as establishing new roles to leverage knowledge, enabling knowledge (training and education), and making knowledge visible within the organization should be regarded as strategic weapons to sustain knowledge-related competitive advantages. Additionally, the findings of this paper suggest that manufacturing management efforts should focus heavily on the development of an effective communication network, and devote significant resources to creating open and trustful communication climate inside the firm. Besides pursuing technological advantages and new manufacturing capabilities, managers need to understand the positive impact that communicative competence has on internal knowledge base, which constitutes an additional insight concerning the strategic importance of knowledge in today's competence-based competition. Therefore, adapting to the deployment of knowledge management, the manufacturing management professional's responsibilities must change accordingly. Since communicative competence reflects attitudes and values it bring to the work environment as well as the coordination and controlling structure that exist in the organization, manufacturing management executives should assure that there are enough resources embedded in individually networked relationships inside the firm and the social structures of organizations would encourage extensive communication activities among individuals. Individual knowledge management requires intensive interpersonal involvement. Superior communicative competence results in the cooperative relationship in which managers and employees are committed to one another, act in the best interests of the relationship and are continually learning for individual knowledge enrichment. The measurement instruments of communicative competence developed in this study might be a valuable tool for companies to evaluate and compare their current internal communication capabilities. Finally, taking into account earlier research findings, the significant effect of external competence transfer on manufacturing system capability not only confirms the importance and potential values of the competence development to manufacturing capability, but also has implications for manufacturing technology management. Manufacturing system capability includes three complementary dimensions: automation, integration, and modularity. All three manufacturing dimensions consist of the technical subsystem comprising tools, techniques and associated work structure, and the social subsystem covering the knowledge and skills that exist in the organization. Therefore, manufacturing firms should rely on well-developed routines to scan and transfer external competence for the purpose of generating new manufacturing capabilities with existing technologies. It is recommended that manufacturing firms actively build up interactive-oriented relationships with customers and other business partners that allow them to be frequently exposed to new practices, market knowledge and or business partners' resources.