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Knowledge domains and knowledge conversion: an empirical investigation

Philippe Byosiere (Doshisha Business School, Doshisha University, Karasuma, Imadegawa‐sori, Kyoto, Japan)
Denise J. Luethge (Department of Management and International Business, College of Business and Public Administration, Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, USA)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 4 April 2008




The purpose of this paper is to present evidence of how different domains of knowledge (basic, experiential, emotional and innovative knowledge) relate to knowledge conversion processes (socialization, externalization, combination and internalization) in the firm.


Confirmatory principal component analyses were performed on knowledge domain and knowledge conversion variables. Path analyses, based on stepwise multiple regressions, were performed in order to determine the strength and directionality of the relationships between the four processes of knowledge conversion and the four knowledge domains.


The results indicate that knowledge based on experience impacts the conversion of tacit knowledge within an organization, leading to innovative knowledge and competitive advantage. Emotional knowledge impacts the knowledge conversion process similarly. Only basic knowledge impacts the explicit components of combination.

Research limitations/implications

First, the results of this study are drawn from a fairly large sample in only one firm, and hence, one industry. Not all of the middle managers who participated in this study are equally familiar with knowledge creation and dissemination within their organization.

Practical implications

The results suggest that investing in basic training of employees and managers in order to reach a basal level of knowledge can act as a precursor to fuel other types of knowledge conversion as well as the innovative and experiential knowledge domains.


Past research has not examined how the domains of knowledge (the content) are related to the conversion of knowledge. In addition, little research in the area of knowledge conversion has taken place in a European setting. This paper addresses the deficits.



Byosiere, P. and Luethge, D.J. (2008), "Knowledge domains and knowledge conversion: an empirical investigation", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 67-78.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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