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.

Research and Practical Implications

Research and practical implications

This chapter suggests some implications of this study for further research on stickiness and for the practice of knowledge transfer. In relation to extant research on stickiness, this study integrates recent conceptual insights into the characteristics of knowledge with elements of the social context, elements which were for the most part neglected in prior studies. Accordingly, a distinction is made between the characteristics of the knowledge transferred and the characteristics of the situation in which the transfer occurs. This study offers also a typology as well as alternative ways to measure stickiness.

The discussion of implications for research ends with suggestions for more specialized research on stickiness and on its antecedents. One type of specialized enquiry focuses on deepening ...

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