Knowledge transfer in vertical relationship. The case study of Val D’Agri oil district.
June 12, 2013 Editor 0
Purpose – The objective of the current study is to map the Val d’Agri district relationships, defining the way firms relate along the district value production chain with reference to both their position and “contractual power”, and to understand how the firms’ positions in the value chain affect KT processes in the district. Considering the “Hub and Spoke” morphology, we argue that KT is deeply affected by both the firms’ contractual power and their positions within the district. Explicit KT is mainly linked to development of production processes; in contrast, tacit KT depends primarily on the actions of people working in the district. Human capital plays an important role in transferring knowledge through imitation, work mobility and social interaction.
Design/methodology/approach – We adopt an empirical approach in which we describe and analyse the principle characteristics of the Val d’Agri relational structure, with identification of the main issues that impact the KT development process.
The study consists of two parts: first is an analysis of the main national and international literature on knowledge transfer, industrial districts and oilfield environments, from economic and managerial perspectives; second is the empirical study to specifically describe and analyse the way KT occurs within the vertical relationships typical of a hub-and-spoke district.Findings – For the ID typology under observation, the hub and spoke theory provides better fit than the Marshallian district model.
Research limitations/implications – The research limitations concern the quantitative evaluation of knowledge management and the mechanisms that characterize it. In fact, the analysis, although it is based both on the existence and the collection of relevant data, is mainly qualitative. This is due to the lack of attention that district companies, in a focused way, dedicated to knowledge management.
Practical implications – Mapping the specific characteristics of this oilfield industrial district indicates that such characteristics are closely dependent on the character of the actual resources and on national laws and regulations that govern oil exploitation in Italy, creating positions of power within the production chain that determine the relationship between the companies.Originality/value – Noting the importance of industrial districts and of Knowledge Transfer in general competition among firms, the paper provides a useful framework to understand both industrial district dynamics and the ways Knowledge Transfer can be promoted among all the firms that are related along a given value chain.
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Categories: Knowledge Management
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