Title: Exploring knowledge transfer within manufacturing networks and codified information characteristics: the hidden dangers of inaccurate information

Authors: Harm-Jan Steenhuis, Erik J. De Bruijn

Addresses: Eastern Washington University, College of Business and Public Administration, Department of Management, 668 N. Riverpoint Blvd. Suite A, Spokane, WA 99202-1660, USA. ' University of Twente, School of Business, Public Administration and Technology, Technology and Development Group, PO Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands

Abstract: Technology transfer is an important aspect of, and takes frequently place in, international manufacturing networks. A key component of a specific technology is the knowledge and information that accompanies it. This study explores the difficulties with transferring technological knowledge and codified, i.e. explicit, information and the causes of these difficulties. Case studies were carried out in the aircraft industry to identify problems that arise with the transfer of information. The aircraft industry is a particularly interesting industry to study because of the emphasis in this sector on codified information. It was found that the accuracy of information has two distinct aspects: a part that is independent of the destination company and a part that is dependent on the destination company. The first aspect, termed reliability, is time dependent. The second aspect, suitability, depends especially on the destination company|s knowledge about the source company|s information formatting methods. Illustrations of the consequences of information inaccuracy are included.

Keywords: aircraft industry; international technology transfer; technology management; global manufacturing networks; knowledge transfer; codified information; information transfer; reliability; suitability; information accuracy; information inaccuracy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTTC.2004.005621

International Journal of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation, 2004 Vol.3 No.4, pp.433 - 453

Published online: 30 Oct 2004 *

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