Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to propose and test a model that uses “organizational attention” as an explanatory factor of knowledge transfer, and apply it to firms pursuing a replication strategy – like McDonalds or Starbucks. Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected from three coffee chains, empirical findings that operationalize and illustrate their different attention profiles are presented, and differences in their replication outcomes are demonstrated. The paper concludes with some qualitative analyses of the linkages between attention and replication success. Findings – Each chain has a different attention profile, reflected in varying attention to knowledge sources and domains. These profiles are found to be consistent with each three outcome measures of each chain's replication strategy – namely uniformity, accuracy, and distinctiveness. Research limitations/implications – The paper extends prior understanding of the knowledge based view of the firm, organization, learning, cognitive limits, attention, and templates into an explanatory model of the process of knowledge flows, selection, and effectiveness in implementing replication strategies in service firms. Originality/value – The proposed model is a pioneering examination of the influence of organizational attention on exploiting knowledge as a strategic resource; and specifically on three indications of the success of the replication strategy, namely accuracy, uniformity, and distinctiveness.
International Journal of Service Industry Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 20, 2008
Keywords: Organizational planning; Corporate strategy; Knowledge management