This paper aims to assess the importance of different knowledge management practices to promote organizational innovation in multinational companies. The links among internationalization, reverse knowledge transfer and social capital and organizational innovation are analyzed.
Structural equation modeling was used to check the research hypotheses with a sample of 104 multinational companies.
The results show that internalization has no direct effect on organizational innovation but a indirect effect trhrough the transfer of knowledge from external subsidiaries to the headquarter. Furthermore, this knowledge and other that comes from internal and external social capital is essential for the development of innovations.
Self-reporting by the CEOs may be the most significant limitation, as a single key informant provided the data; multiple informants would enhance the validity of the research findings. A second limitation is the cross-sectional design of the research that does not allow observation of the short- and long-term impact of the relationships among the variables.
Organizational innovation is not an easy task. However, those multinational companies which foster knowledge management practices that generate new knowledge from external subsidiaries, internal or external social relationships, will facilitate the generation of innovations. In consequence, these companies should foster the generation of knowledge from different sources.
The focus of the study in this paper is on multinational companies and the possibility to acquire knowledge from different sources (inside organization, external local environment and international context). Specially, focus on the transfer of knowledge from subsidiaries to headquarters (reverse knowledge transfer), as it is insufficiently investigated by current literature.
The authors acknowledge the funding received from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology (research project ECO2009-12825) to undertake this research.
Jiménez-Jiménez, D., Martínez-Costa, M. and Sanz-Valle, R. (2014), "Knowledge management practices for innovation: a multinational corporation’s perspective", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 18 No. 5, pp. 905-918. https://doi.org/10.1108/JKM-06-2014-0242Download as .RIS
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