Managing tacit and explicit knowledge transfer in IJVs: the role of relational embeddedness and the impact on performance
Marjorie A Lyles
H Kevin Steensma
Drawing on organizational learning and economic sociology, we address how relational embeddedness between the foreign parent and international joint venture (IJV) managers influences the type of knowledge (i.e., tacit and explicit) transferred to the IJV, and how the importance of relational embeddedness varies between young and mature IJVs. We also examine the influence of tacit and explicit knowledge on IJV performance. Our results show the importance that tie strength, trust, and shared values and systems play in the transfer of tacit knowledge, especially for mature IJVs. Our findings are consistent with Uzzi's tenets: tacit learning is accumulative, assists in explaining explicit knowledge, and is enhanced by social embeddedness. We also find that the influence of transferred tacit knowledge on IJV performance stems principally from its indirect effect on the learning of explicit knowledge. Journal of International Business Studies (2004) 35, 428–442. doi:10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8400098
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