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Transferring codified knowledge: socio‐technical versus top‐down approaches

Transferring codified knowledge: socio‐technical versus top‐down approaches Purpose – This paper aims to analyse and evaluate the transfer process of codified knowledge (CK) performed under two different approaches: the “socio‐technical” and the “top‐down”. It is argued that the socio‐technical approach supports the transfer of CK better than the top‐down approach. Design/methodology/approach – Case study methodology was used, in the explanatory and qualitative study. The empirical evidence focused on the development of work standards following ISO 9000 norms at a Steelworks plant. This process was examined as a process of CK transfer. Findings – First, the socio‐technical approach supports the process of CK transfer better than the top‐down view. Second, CK is a dynamic concept that may need different varying amounts of tacit knowledge in order to enable knowledge codification and assimilation. Three, the examination of the degree of context and task similarity between sender and receiving units needs to be detailed, since small variations in organizational processes might imply significant alterations on informal work practices, a key issue that affects the CK transfer process. Research limitations/implications – This study, on the one hand, might assist to further develop theories of knowledge transfer, such as Argote's et al. integrative knowledge management framework. On the other hand, it complements Szulanski's research since he did not explore the approach used during the implementation process. Practical implications – Research finding contain practical advice that can the taken up by practitioners. Originality/value – By focusing on different approaches to transfer CK, this study has filled a research gap in the CK transfer literature. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Learning Organization Emerald Publishing

Transferring codified knowledge: socio‐technical versus top‐down approaches

The Learning Organization , Volume 15 (3): 26 – Apr 18, 2008

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References (128)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0969-6474
DOI
10.1108/09696470810868873
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to analyse and evaluate the transfer process of codified knowledge (CK) performed under two different approaches: the “socio‐technical” and the “top‐down”. It is argued that the socio‐technical approach supports the transfer of CK better than the top‐down approach. Design/methodology/approach – Case study methodology was used, in the explanatory and qualitative study. The empirical evidence focused on the development of work standards following ISO 9000 norms at a Steelworks plant. This process was examined as a process of CK transfer. Findings – First, the socio‐technical approach supports the process of CK transfer better than the top‐down view. Second, CK is a dynamic concept that may need different varying amounts of tacit knowledge in order to enable knowledge codification and assimilation. Three, the examination of the degree of context and task similarity between sender and receiving units needs to be detailed, since small variations in organizational processes might imply significant alterations on informal work practices, a key issue that affects the CK transfer process. Research limitations/implications – This study, on the one hand, might assist to further develop theories of knowledge transfer, such as Argote's et al. integrative knowledge management framework. On the other hand, it complements Szulanski's research since he did not explore the approach used during the implementation process. Practical implications – Research finding contain practical advice that can the taken up by practitioners. Originality/value – By focusing on different approaches to transfer CK, this study has filled a research gap in the CK transfer literature.

Journal

The Learning OrganizationEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 18, 2008

Keywords: Knowledge management; Knowledge transfer; ISO 9000 series

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