nep-knm New Economics Papers
on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Economy
Issue of 2010‒05‒15
three papers chosen by
Laura Stefanescu
European Research Centre of Managerial Studies in Business Administration

  1. The Lead Factory Concept: Benefiting from an Efficient Knowledge Transfer By Patricia Deflorin; Helmut Dietl; Markus Lang; Maike Scherrer-Rathje
  2. Complexity, uncertainty, and organizational congruency By Nobuyuki Hanaki; Hideo Owan
  3. Brand, Knowledge and False Sense of Security By Wendy Hui

  1. By: Patricia Deflorin (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich); Helmut Dietl (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich); Markus Lang (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich); Maike Scherrer-Rathje (Institute for Technology Management, University of St. Gallen)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the effectiveness of knowledge transfer between research and development (R&D) and intra-firm production units. Specifically, two distinct network structures are compared: the lead factory concept and traditional networks of R&D and production. Based on an analytical two-stage decision model for prototype and serial production, we highlight relevant factors that determine the relative advantages and disadvantages of the lead factory concept in comparison to a traditional network structure. In particular, the lead factory concept is more cost-efficient than the traditional network if there are a high number of production plants, the adaptation costs for implementing the transferred prototype from the lead factory to the plant are low, the manufacturing costs for the prototype are high, and the manufacturing processes are not highly specific or knowledge intensive.
    Keywords: Operations Management, Manufacturing, Lead Factory, Knowledge Transfer, Cost Benefit Analysis
    Date: 2010–05
  2. By: Nobuyuki Hanaki (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II - Université Paul Cézanne - Aix-Marseille III - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - CNRS : UMR6579, Economics Department - Université de Tsukuba); Hideo Owan (Institute of Social Science - Tokyo University)
    Abstract: Many scholars in the fields of organization theory and management strategy have argued that there is a tension between the two types of organizational learning activities, exploration and exploitation. They appear to be substitutes: the greater the skill at one, the harder it is to do the other well. It is often argued that the two activities compete for scarce resources when firms need different capabilities and management policies to promote one over the other. We present another explanation that attributes the phenomenon to the dynamic interactions among the activities, search, knowledge sharing, evaluation, and alignment within organizations relying on the NK Landscape framework (Kauffman 1993). Our results show that successful organizations tend to bifurcate into two types: those that always promote individual initiatives and build organizational strengths on individual learning and those good at aligning the individual knowledge base and exploiting shared knowledge. Straddling between the two types often fails. The intuition is that an equal mixture of individual search and organizational alignment slows down individual learning compared to the first organization type while making it difficult to update institutionalized knowledge because individuals' knowledge base is not so sufficiently aligned as in the second type. In such "straddling" organizations, once individuals get stuck with locally-best solutions in an uncoordinated manner, they cannot agree on how to improve the organizational knowledge. Straddling is especially inefficient when the operation is sufficiently complex (in other words, the interdependency is high) or when the business environment is sufficiently uncertain.
    Keywords: Congruency ; Complexity ; Uncertainty ; NK Landscape
    Date: 2010–05–03
  3. By: Wendy Hui (Nottingham University Business School Ningbo, China)
    Abstract: A 2x2 experiment was used to study the effects of brand name and knowledge on the adoption of antivirus software. Subjects were randomly assigned to groups and presented with different brands and product choice sets. It was found that (1) brand name affects product choice, (2) a strong brand may tend to induce a false sense of security and lead to poor produce choice, and (3) knowledge can reduce consumers’ reliance on brand name in security technology adoption decision.
    Keywords: Brand, Knowledge, Experiment, Consumer Market, Technology Adoption
    Date: 2010–05–06

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