Title: Promoting knowledge transfer to Czech SMEs: the role of human resource development in increasing absorptive capacity

Authors: David Pollard, Jena Svarcova

Addresses: Leeds Metropolitan University, Headingley Campus, Leeds LS6 3QL, UK. ' Tomas Bata University in Zlin, Mostni 5139, 760 01 Zlin, Czech Republic

Abstract: The development of a viable and vibrant Small- and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) sector has been widely recognised as vital for sustaining the process of economic transformation in East and Central Europe (ECE). Owing to the high rate of change in competitive dynamics within transformation economies, SMEs seek to develop new knowledge themselves or, more likely, transfer, adapt and implement new knowledge obtained from outside sources in order to increase their competitiveness. The effectiveness of identifying and transferring new knowledge and best practice depends to an extent on the level of absorptive capacity of the organisation, which, it can be argued, is strongly related to its inherent level of Human Resource Development (HRD). This paper reports the initial results of a research project which investigates the priorities for HRD in SMEs to enable managers to identify, transfer, assess and implement new knowledge gained through access to external sources. The study identifies significant differences between HRD priorities identified by management and the preferences of employees and potential employees in the form of undergraduate business students. The conclusions indicate that firms should consider the importance of both their own and employees| motivational factors in managing knowledge transfer mechanisms.

Keywords: knowledge transfer; human resource development; HRD; absorptive capacity; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; Czech Republic; motivation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2009.025695

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2009 Vol.8 No.4, pp.499 - 515

Available online: 23 May 2009 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article