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A configurational approach to the dynamics of firm level knowledge

Véronique Ambrosini (Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK)
Nardine Collier (Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University, Bedford, UK)
Mark Jenkins (Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University, Bedford, UK)

Journal of Strategy and Management

ISSN: 1755-425X

Article publication date: 20 February 2009




In this paper the aim is to concentrate on the impact that various types and combinations of knowledge can have on firms.


After a review of the literature the authors conceptually configure the extant understanding of knowledge over eight configurations. They illustrate each configuration with practical examples.


This configurational approach provides a basis for identifying potential complementarities and conflicts regarding the dynamics of organisational knowledge in competitive settings. It allows for a better understanding of knowledge in organisations and its link with competitive advantage.

Practical implications

The authors' argument can be used by managers to help them think of how knowledge is configured within their firm. By doing so they might better understand how this knowledge configuration might give them a competitive advantage.


This paper uses some traditional knowledge concepts but by proposing to take a configurational view of organisational knowledge, it proposes an original and meaningful way of examining the role of knowledge in the generation and sustainability of competitive advantage.



Ambrosini, V., Collier, N. and Jenkins, M. (2009), "A configurational approach to the dynamics of firm level knowledge", Journal of Strategy and Management, Vol. 2 No. 1, pp. 4-30.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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