Title: The transfer of knowledge within MNEs: a case study applied to subsidiaries operating overseas

Authors: Jose Moleiro Martins, Nelson Santos Antonio

Addresses: Management Division, Instituto Superior de Contabilidade e Administracao de Lisboa, Avenida Miguel Bombarda, 20, 1069-035 Lisboa, Portugal. ' Department of Management, ISCTE, Business School, Lisbon University Institute, Avenida das Forcas Armadas, 1649-026 Lisboa, Portugal

Abstract: Business opportunities in Southern Africa have created an increasing interest on the part of foreign investors in markets like, for instance, the Mozambican market. This fact justifies getting a better understanding of the phenomenon of knowledge transfer to the Mozambican subsidiaries. We have studied three successful cases of companies with activities in the industrial sector. The information we have obtained indicates that the efficient transfer of knowledge from the MNE headquarters is the result of: 1) the assimilation of knowledge; 2) the scope of the transferred knowledge; 3) the improvement of performance on the part of the subsidiary, where the intervention of the expatriates who know the African reality is of fundamental importance for overcoming the difficulties that are felt locally, by means of the creation of an atmosphere of trust that motivates the individuals to acquire, assimilate and exploit the new knowledge on the local market.

Keywords: knowledge transfer; subsidiaries; absorptive capacity; culture; multinational enterprises; MNEs; business performance; Mozambique; knowledge assimilation; local markets.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBPM.2011.039889

International Journal of Business Performance Management, 2011 Vol.12 No.3, pp.242 - 259

Published online: 21 Oct 2014 *

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