Why don't best practices spread within firms? What exactly is sticky knowledge? Having recognized that knowledge assets are rapidly becoming their most precious source of competitive advantage, a large number of organizations are now attempting to transfer best practices. Yet best practices still remain stubbornly immobile. Sticky Knowledge reveals that the transfer of practices is a complex phenomenon, and demonstrates the range of barriers to transferring best practices within the firm. Written in a brief and accessible format, Gabriel Szulanski defines the popular concept of stickiness and its operationalization, providing a roadmap for understanding and further researching this topical issue. Taking a fresh look at accepted wisdom, and presenting research findings that conflict with some established views, the book will be essential reading for academics and students addressing issues related to knowledge and the firm. Practising managers and MBA students will also find it of immense value.

Stickiness, Best Practices and Knowledge Transfer

Stickiness, Best Practices and Knowledge Transfer

Stickiness, best practices and knowledge transfer

Transfer of Knowledge within the Firm

Sub-units of a firm may achieve superior results in many different ways. For example, best practices may result from R&D activities, process improvement projects (Adler, 1990), re-designed operations (Hammer and Champy, 1993) or from greenfield operations established to resolve problems encountered in existing plants (Kerwin and Woodruff, 1992; Ulrich and Lake, 1990:240; Walton, 1975). Best practices may develop also in units serving large and sophisticated lead markets or in units with privileged access to a highly skilled workforce (Bartlett and Ghoshal, 1989). Finally best practices may develop through benchmarking (Camp, 1989), acquisitions (Haspeslagh and Jemison, 1991), joint ventures with possessors of superior skills (Brown and Reich, 1989) or by ...

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