Developing an inter-organisational knowledge transfer framework for SMES
SubjectsG720 Knowledge Representation
small to medium-sized enterprises
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThis thesis aims to develop an inter-organisational knowledge transfer (KT) framework for SMEs, to help them have better understanding of the process of the KT between a SME and its customer (or supplier). The motivation is that knowledge management issues in SMEs is very neglected, which is not in line with the importance of SMEs in the UK national economy; moreover, compared to KT within an organisation, between organisations is more complicated, harder to understand, and has received much less attention. Firstly, external knowledge is generally believed to be of prime importance for SMEs. However, there is little empirical evidence to confirm this hypothesis. In order to empirically evaluate the hypothesis, and also specifically to identify SMEs' needs for external knowledge, a mail questionnaire survey is carried out. Then, based on the key findings of the survey, some 5MB managers are interviewed. The conclusions triangulated from both the key findings and the interview results strongly support the hypothesis, and demonstrate that SMEs have very strong needs for inter-organisational KT, and thus provide very strong empirical underpinning for the necessity of the development of the framework. Secondly, drawing support from a process view, a four-stage process model was proposed for inter-organisational KT. Then a co-ordinating mechanism underpinned by social networks and organisational learning is developed. The process model, co-ordinating mechanism together with cultural difference between organisations constitute an initial framework. Through interviews with SME managers, the initial framework is revised a final framework. The framework validation exercise shows that the final framework could help SMEs have better understanding of the KT. In order to remind and help SMEs to address the 'boundary paradox' embedded in interorganisational KT, and further reflect its complexities and difficulties, the important factors related to each stage of the framework are identified from a strategic perspective, with the help of the co-ordinating mechanism and relevant literature. The factors are also verified by interviews in SMEs. As a result, the initial factors are revised by removing the factors that are perceived as unimportant. The interview results demonstrate that the important factors, as a checklist, can remind and help SMEs to address the 'paradox', and are thus very useful for them.
CitationChen, S. (2005) 'Developing an inter-organisational knowledge transfer framework for SMES'. PhD thesis. University of Luton.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy of the University of Luton
The following license files are associated with this item:
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Enhancing learner knowledge and the application of that knowledge via computer based assessmentReynolds, Lynne; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2013-02)This paper details the process that the author went through as a novice action researcher whilst designing and implementing a new computer based assignment within a Higher Education institution within the UK. The paper outlines the initial stages of a project which was designed to assist students in the transformation from declarative to functioning knowledge (Biggs & Tang 2011). The implementation of a new summative assessment was to help students to develop a deeper rather than surface approach to learning. Owing to the personal and professional beliefs of the author, the project was designed using Norton's (2009) action research methodology of ITDEM. The research also consisted of a specific theoretical framework which included Kolb's (1984) and Atherton's (2009) theories on experiential learning and a constructivist approach (Swan 2005) to developing and designing an intervention. It also highlights the difficulties that were faced by the researcher whilst identifying and tackling this issue and implementing the new assessment. In addition during the initial stages, the research design encompassed the piloting of the Touchstone Open Source Platform because the University's Question Mark Platform was not compatible with the demands of the new assignment. This would allow an online assignment to be utilised. It would also produce instant results and feedback for the students whilst reducing marking loads (Wilkinson & Rai 2007). In order to evaluate and analyse the results from the research, data was collected and measured through the attainment of individual summative grades which were available as part of the normal academic process. Moreover, the grades that would normally be available within the university infrastructure for grading purposes were utilised to collect data on the new assessment. Upon analysis, initial results indicated an increase in the number of students who had achieved a level of functioning knowledge in comparison to previous cohorts (see fig 1). However, despite some indications of success, the author is unable to generalise this success at present owing to this project being a pilot study for the new Question Mark Platform. This paper concludes with a number of suggestions for modifying the new assessment and recommendations for the next cycle in the research process.