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Knowledge transfer across projects: Codification in creative, high-tech and engineering industries

Cacciatori, E., Tamoschus, D. & Grabher, G. (2012). Knowledge transfer across projects: Codification in creative, high-tech and engineering industries. Management Learning, 43(3), pp. 309-331. doi: 10.1177/1350507611426240


The use of codification to support knowledge transfer across projects has been explored in several recent, and mostly qualitative, studies. Building on that research, this article puts forward hypotheses about the antecedents of knowledge codification, and tests them on a sample of 540 inter-organizational projects carried out in the creative, high-tech and engineering industries. We find that the presence of strong industry norms governing the division of labour discourages knowledge transfer through codification, as suggested by the existing qualitative studies. The presence of a system integrator plays an important role in driving the use of codification for knowledge transfer, to some extent embodying an organizational memory in volatile project environments. Finally, the level of use of administrative control in the project is a robust predictor of attempts to transfer knowledge via codification. When these antecedents are taken into account, the novelty of products and services plays a smaller role than previously found in determining the use of codification.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright Sage 2012
Publisher Keywords: knowledge transfer, project-based organizing, creative industries, engineering industries, high-tech industries, codification, system integration
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
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