LEARNING BY KNOWLEDGE‐INTENSIVE FIRMS *

LEARNING BY KNOWLEDGE‐INTENSIVE FIRMS * New York Unincrsity DISCOVERING EXPERTISE The General Manager of the Garden Company (a pseudonym) invited John Dutton and me to advise him about what he called their ‘lot-size problem.’ He was wondering, he said, whether Garden was making products in economically efficient quantities. We had no idea what a strange but memorable experience this would be! The General Manager proposed that we start with a tour of their largest plant, and assigned someone to guide us. Our guide took us first to the model shop, which produced jigs and patterns for use in the main plant. In the model shop, a skilled craftsman would start with a raw piece of metal, work on it with several different machine tools, and end with a finished component. Each successive component differed from those produced before and after, and each craftsman’s tasks were shifting continually. Then our guide took us into the plant itself. To our amazement, we found little difference from the model shop. Many workers were using several different machine tools in succession. Since each worker had several machines, most of the machines were idle at any moment. Some workers chose to decorate castings’ non-functional insides with patterns such http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Management Studies Wiley

LEARNING BY KNOWLEDGE‐INTENSIVE FIRMS *

Journal of Management Studies, Volume 29 (6) – Nov 1, 1992

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 1992 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0022-2380
eISSN
1467-6486
DOI
10.1111/j.1467-6486.1992.tb00686.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

New York Unincrsity DISCOVERING EXPERTISE The General Manager of the Garden Company (a pseudonym) invited John Dutton and me to advise him about what he called their ‘lot-size problem.’ He was wondering, he said, whether Garden was making products in economically efficient quantities. We had no idea what a strange but memorable experience this would be! The General Manager proposed that we start with a tour of their largest plant, and assigned someone to guide us. Our guide took us first to the model shop, which produced jigs and patterns for use in the main plant. In the model shop, a skilled craftsman would start with a raw piece of metal, work on it with several different machine tools, and end with a finished component. Each successive component differed from those produced before and after, and each craftsman’s tasks were shifting continually. Then our guide took us into the plant itself. To our amazement, we found little difference from the model shop. Many workers were using several different machine tools in succession. Since each worker had several machines, most of the machines were idle at any moment. Some workers chose to decorate castings’ non-functional insides with patterns such

Journal

Journal of Management StudiesWiley

Published: Nov 1, 1992

References

  • Change in an autonomous professional organization
    Hinings, Hinings; Brown, Brown; Greenwood, Greenwood

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