Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Tacit Knowledge Problem in Multinational Corporations: Japanese and US Offshore Knowledge Incubators

Lam, Alice (2008): The Tacit Knowledge Problem in Multinational Corporations: Japanese and US Offshore Knowledge Incubators.

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Abstract

This paper examines the ‘cognitive’ and ‘societal’ aspects of the tacit knowledge transfer problem in MNCs. Based on a comparative analysis of the overseas R&D labs of US and Japanese MNCs in the UK, it examines how home-based models of learning influence MNCs’ transnational social spaces for learning and their capabilities to address the tacit knowing problem. It illustrates how the US professional ‘networks of practice’ (NoP) and the Japanese organizational ‘communities of practice’ (CoP) approaches to transnational learning unfold in practice. It also examines how divergence between home and host country institutions governing knowledge production inhibits cross-societal tacit knowing.

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