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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In this chapter, we review research on knowledge transfer and integrate it with the broader organizational learning literature. We begin by reviewing the barriers to knowledge transfer in terms of the characteristics of the knowledge transferred, those of the source, those of the recipient, and those of the context in which knowledge is transferred. Then we review methods to facilitate knowledge transfer across organizational units and organizations. Next, based on recent literature that highlights the importance of timing (Szulanski et al., 2016), we explain when and how to use certain knowledge transfer methods. In particular, we summarize a methodology for analyzing these methods based on each method’s affordance for tacit knowledge exchange, and we provide suggestions on how to time the administration of methods depending on the barriers in the knowledge transfer process. We conclude the chapter by discussing possible directions for future knowledge transfer research.

Keywords: organizational learning, knowledge transfer, timing of methods, knowledge transfer methods, barriers to transfer, routines, personnel movement, social networks, learning in chains

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