Title: Getting to the real story: what Vietnamese business people wish foreigners understood about doing business in emerging and transition countries like Vietnam – before they start

Authors: Nancy K. Napier, Vuong Quan Hoang

Addresses: College of Business and Economics, Boise State University, 1910 University Drive, Boise, ID 83702, USA. ' DHVP Research & Consultancy, No. 49, Nguyen Hong, Dong Da Hanoi, Vietnam

Abstract: Knowledge sharing typically examines organisational transfer of knowledge, often from headquarters to subsidiaries, from developed country sites to emerging country sites, or from host to local employees. Yet, recent research, such as Prahalad|s Bottom of the Pyramid, raises the question of reverse transfer of knowledge, or whether knowledge could and should be transferred from local sites to home country sites within an organisation. As several emerging economies build their capabilities in knowledge, research and development, marketing, and the like, it only makes sense to consider what type of knowledge and how to transfer it in reverse or bi-directional manners. This reflection paper takes one step back in the process. Rather than focusing on what knowledge transfer may make sense within an organisation, we consider, through a series of small case studies and experience, what types of knowledge are important for foreigners to know at the initial stages of engagement abroad as they consider whether to do business in an emerging country.

Keywords: foreigners doing business; knowledge transition countries; human resources development; Vietnam; emerging markets; transition economies; knowledge sharing; reverse knowledge transfer; bi-directional knowledge transfer.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHRDM.2011.041672

International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management, 2011 Vol.11 No.2/3/4, pp.208 - 220

Published online: 29 Jul 2011 *

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