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External business knowledge transmission: a conceptual framework

Alan Labas (Future Regions Research Centre (FRRC), Federation University Australia, Ballarat, Australia)
Jerry Courvisanos (Future Regions Research Centre (FRRC), Federation University Australia, Ballarat, Australia)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 21 December 2022

Issue publication date: 19 October 2023




This study aims to develop an original conceptual framework to guide research into knowledge transmission between professional external knowledge providers and their business clientele. As such, the framework aims to bridge a gap between theory and practice by explicating the processes which affect knowledge transmission and the conversion of knowledge for business application (i.e. knowledge transference).


Key concepts from disciplines of knowledge management, information management, communications, services marketing and business advice are reviewed and integrated into the development of this framework. Underpinned by a critical realist philosophical lens, it provides a robust research guide for examining business advisor knowledge actions in a changing open environment.


This study identifies that the process of knowledge transmission from a source external to a business is more complex than internal knowledge sharing. It addresses this complexity through a knowledge transmission framework, in a research design that is applicable to any methodological paradigm. Real-world application is identified in its applicability for evaluating mechanisms to facilitate knowledge transmission practices of external advisors to small business in regionally isolated communities.

Research limitations/implications

The critical realist research methodology allows for causality in knowledge transmission to emerge; however, no assertion is made that the conceptual framework developed needs any particular philosophical paradigm for its application. Instead, what is asserted is that the research framework developed in this paper is specifically suited to the characteristics of external knowledge providers, their tacit knowledge and the businesses they service.


This study reconceptualises various theoretical perspectives and develops a sequential process for addressing a research lacuna by specifically examining the processes (or connections) between external business advisor’s knowledge and their advisory actions. With these processes clearly established, the role of external knowledge providers, as knowledge transmitters, deepens the understanding of knowledge transference that up until now has focused typically on internal organisation aspects.



Funding: Alan Labas was supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program Fee-Offset Scholarship through Federation University Australia.


Labas, A. and Courvisanos, J. (2023), "External business knowledge transmission: a conceptual framework", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 27 No. 8, pp. 2034-2057.



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