*Research Handbook on Knowledge Transfer and International Business by
Edward Elgar Publishing*

*Editors: *
Zaheer Khan, University of Kent, UK ([log in to unmask])
Smitha R. Nair, University of East Anglia, UK (
[log in to unmask])
Yong Kyu Lew, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Republic of Korea (
[log in to unmask])

The research handbook aims to bring together the burgeoning and fragmented
literature on Knowledge Transfer in the international context, and to
provide a definitive direction for future debates and enquiries. While the
modern business landscape has become more complex and turbulent, firms have
increasingly embraced multiple types of knowledge collaboration and
acquisition (by way of strategic alliances and acquisitions) in their
attempts to expand into wider markets and consolidate their position, gain
access to resources, and acquire technology and know-how (Almeida, Song and
Grant, 2002; Bresman, Birkinshaw and Nobel, 1999; Dhanaraj et al., 2004;
Lane, Salk and Lyles, 2001; Mudambi, Piscitello and Rabbiosi, 2014; Nair,
Demirbag and Mellahi, 2016; Perez-Nordtvedt et al., 2008; Sarala et al.,
2016). These collaborative networks often prove to be ‘fertile grounds’ for
firms to engage in knowledge exchange and learning, which is considered
vital for creating competitive advantage (Argote and Ingram, 2000; Kogut
and Zander, 1993; Lyles and Salk, 1996). This has paved way for the growing
literature on knowledge transfer, especially between organisations (or
organisational units) that are geographically dispersed across different
countries or continents. The extant research has largely explored the
different antecedents and consequences pertaining to knowledge transfer
(Andersson et al., 2015; Driffield, Love and Menghinello, 2010; Foss and
Pederson, 2002; Gupta and Govindarajan, 2000; Khan et al., 2015; Minbaeva
et al., 2003; Szulanski, Ringov and Jensen, 2016; van Wijk et al., 2008;
Zhao and Anand, 2009), while spanning different levels of analysis,
including inter-firm, firm, group and individual. The literature also
extensively borrows from a wide range of theoretical perspectives to
explain the knowledge transfer mechanisms at work with regard to these
antecedents and/or consequences. These diverse themes and perspectives have
contributed to the fragmented state of the literature and hence this book
proposes to highlight emerging common ground and concerns between these
themes, and to promote cross-fertilization of ideas and theoretical
integration in the context of international knowledge transfer. The
digitization and orchestration of diverse global value chain activities
also require new means to transfer cross-border knowledge within and across
firms, therefore, research is needed in understanding the key mechanisms
and timing of such mechanisms and how different mechanisms influence the
cross-border knowledge transfer process.

Thus, this handbook is timely and will provide fresh insights into the
challenges faced by multinational enterprises whilst engaging in knowledge
transfer and further highlight the contextual influences imposed by the
industrial sectors and countries that they are associated with. The
proposed volume offers a rare and unique opportunity for scholars engaged
in research on knowledge transfer to share their findings in such a
scholarly outlet. Chapters will be fresh, previously unpublished work,
which has an international dimension. A list of indicative themes (but not
limited to) that we look forward to receiving as potential contributions is
listed below:

*Indicative Themes *

 Theoretical perspectives relevant to knowledge transfer
 Micro-foundations of knowledge transfer
 Knowledge transfer processes: managerial and organisational mechanisms
 Cultural and institutional influences on knowledge transfer in various
 Comparative analyses of cross-border/regional knowledge transfer
 Different aspects of knowledge transfer – dimensions, directions and
levels, in the context of multinational networks, joint ventures, M&As and
non-equity based strategic alliances
 Knowledge transfers, specifically to/from emerging/developing economies
 The role of leadership and top management teams in international
knowledge transfer
 The role of social capital in knowledge transfer – networks &
 Knowledge transfer, innovation & firm performance
 Knowledge characteristics and their influences on knowledge transfer
 The role of language in the process of cross-border knowledge transfer
 The impact of organizational structure and absorptive capacity in
cross-border knowledge transfer
 Reverse knowledge transfer and its impact on innovation
 Cross-border knowledge combination between specialized firms

At this stage, we anticipate each chapter will comprise approximately
10,000 words, although there is much room for flexibility to accommodate
different topic areas. We are aiming for first versions of chapters between
15th of January to 28th of February 2019. Thereafter, we will send comments
to the authors within 2 months after we receive the draft, and seek final
versions of chapters within another 4-5 months. Please submit your chapter
at: [log in to unmask] Please let us know if you have any
questions. We look forward to receiving your chapter.

Zaheer Khan, Smitha Nair & Yong Kyu Lew

*References *

Almeida, P., Song, J. & Grant, R. M. (2002), Are Firms Superior to
Alliances and Markets? An Empirical Test of Cross-Border Knowledge
Building, Organization Science, 13(2), 147–161.
Andersson, U., Gaur, A., Mudambi, R. & Persson, M. (2015), Unpacking
interunit knowledge transfer in multinational enterprises. Global Strategy
Journal, 5(3), 241-255.
Argote, L. and Ingram, P. (2000), Knowledge Transfer: A Basis for
Competitive Advantage in Firms, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision
Processes, 82(1), 150–169. Bresman, H., Birkinshaw, J. & Nobel, R. (1999),
Knowledge Transfer in International Acquisitions. Journal of International
Business Studies, 30(3), 439-462.
Dhanaraj, C., Lyles, M. A., Steensma, H. K. & Tihanyi, L. (2004), Managing
Tacit and Explicit Knowledge Transfer in IJVs: The Role of Relational
Embeddedness and the Impact on Performance, Journal of International
Business Studies, 35, 428-442.
Driffield, N., Love, J. H. & Menghinello, S. (2010), The multinational
enterprise as a source of international knowledge flows: Direct evidence
from Italy, Journal of International Business Studies, 41, 350–359.
Foss, N. J. & Pederson, T. (2002), Transferring Knowledge in MNCs: The Role
of Sources of Subsidiary Knowledge in Organizational Context, Journal of
International Management, 8(1), 49-67.
Gupta, A. K. & Govindarajan, V. (2000), Knowledge Flows Within
Multinational Corporations, Strategic Management Journal, 21, 473-496.
Khan, Z., Shenkar, O., & Lew, Y.K. (2015), Knowledge transfer from
international joint ventures to local suppliers in a developing economy.
Journal of International Business Studies, 46(6), 656-675.
Kogut, B. & Zander, U. (1993), Knowledge of the firm and the evolutionary
theory of the Multinational Corporation, Journal of International Business
Studies, 24(4), 625-645.
Lane, P. J., Salk, J. E. & Lyles, M.A. (2001), Absorptive Capacity,
Learning, and Performance in International Joint Ventures, Strategic
Management Journal, 22, 1139-1161.
Lyles, M. A. & Salk, J. E. (1996), Knowledge Acquisition from Foreign
Parents in International Joint Ventures: An Empirical Examination in the
Hungarian Context. Journal of International Business Studies, 27(5),
Minbaeva, D. B., Pedersen, T., Bjorkman, I., Fey, C. F. & Park, H. J.
(2003), MNC knowledge transfer, subsidiary absorptive capacity, and HRM,
Journal of International Business Studies, 34, 586–599.
Mudambi, R., Piscitello, L. & Rabbiosi, L. (2014), Reverse knowledge
transfer in MNEs: Subsidiary innovativeness and entry modes. Long Range
Planning, 47(1-2), 49-63.
Nair, S. R., Demirbag, M. & Mellahi, K. (2016), Reverse knowledge transfer
in emerging market multinationals: The Indian context. International
Business Review, 25(1), 152-164.
Pérez-Nordtvedt, L., Kedia, B. L., Datta, D. K. & Rasheed, A. A. (2008),
Effectiveness and Efficiency of Cross-Border Knowledge Transfer: An
Empirical Examination. Journal of Management Studies, 45(4), 714-744.
Sarala, R. M., Junni, P., Cooper, C. L. & Tarba, S. Y. (2016), A
sociocultural perspective on knowledge transfer in mergers and
acquisitions. Journal of Management, 42(5), 1230-1249.
Szulanski, G., Ringov, D. & Jensen, R. J. (2016), Overcoming stickiness:
How the timing of knowledge transfer methods affects transfer difficulty.
Organization Science, 27(2), 304-322.
van Wijk, R., Jansen, J.J., & Lyles, M.A. (2008), Inter‐and
intra‐organizational knowledge transfer: a meta‐analytic review and
assessment of its antecedents and consequences. Journal of Management
Studies, 45(4), 830-853.
Zhao, Z. J. & Anand, J. (2009), A multilevel perspective on knowledge
transfer: Evidence from the Chinese automotive industry. Strategic
Management Journal, 30(9), 959-983.

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