Title: Transporting tacit supply knowledge in competitive environments: a storytelling perspective

Authors: Alvin J. Williams

Addresses: Mitchell College of Business, University of South Alabama, 5811 USA Drive, MCOB #229, Mobile, AL 36688, USA

Abstract: Knowledge transfer acumen throughout the supply chain network is viewed increasingly as a competitive advantage. The effective transfer of contextually-rich tacit supply chain knowledge is a strategic differentiating variable, especially in dynamic global marketplaces. As supply chain organisations shift, professionals take with them years of accumulated knowledge whose absence can impede market responsiveness, problem-solving capacity, and relationship maintenance, both internally and externally. The current paper offers storytelling as an alternative transfer medium and diffusion conduit for conveying tacit supply chain knowledge. It addresses the efficacy of storytelling in supply chain knowledge management, challenges in designing and implementing transfer modes for tacit knowledge, and strategies for effective tacit knowledge transfer. A model of effective supply chain tacit knowledge transfer is proposed, along with managerial suggestions and future research directions.

Keywords: tacit knowledge; knowledge transfer; storytelling; supply chain management; SCM; competitive advantage; buyer-supplier relationships; global markets; market responsiveness; knowledge management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPM.2014.064622

International Journal of Procurement Management, 2014 Vol.7 No.5, pp.622 - 638

Received: 07 May 2013
Accepted: 26 Sep 2013

Published online: 10 Sep 2014 *

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