Title: Knowledge-transfer practices for SMEs: case studies in Finland and Thailand

Authors: Kongkiti Phusavat, Pekka Kess, Margit Torkko

Addresses: Department of Industrial Engineering, Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand. ' Department of Industrial Engineering, Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand. ' Department of Industrial Management, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland

Abstract: The study focused on an issue of knowledge transfer across Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The overall goal was to identify current practices for knowledge transfer (i.e. both tacit and explicit) between two SMEs (as manufacturers/buyers and suppliers/providers. This study responded to the concern on outsourcing and supplier development for sustainable SMEs competitiveness. This study represented an initial phase of the research on the term external knowledge. This study involved ten SMEs considered to be of high performance. The results also incorporated the opinions of invited practitioners on the level of practicality of identified practices. There were many knowledge-transfer practices found to be useful for explicit knowledge such as formal meetings, site visits/audits and assignment of contact persons. For tacit knowledge, they included story telling, social interactions and employment of former staffs. The study|s limitations were recognised. Finally, future studies were suggested.

Keywords: knowledge transfer; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; outsourcing; Finland; Thailand; tacit knowledge; explicit knowledge.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMED.2008.019080

International Journal of Management and Enterprise Development, 2008 Vol.5 No.5, pp.513 - 528

Published online: 28 Jun 2008 *

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