The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate knowledge replication-imitation speed differentials in the context of patents as the target knowledge.
This study analyzes patent citations in the electric digital data processing class employing an accelerated failure-time model.
This study finds that replicators can turn the private aspect of knowledge into an advantage against imitators with respect to the speed of knowledge transfer, even after the knowledge is codified in a patent. Specifically, being a replicator provides no knowledge transfer speed advantage over imitators. Instead, a joint consideration of knowledge characteristics and organizational boundaries is necessary when explaining knowledge replication-imitation speed differentials. Thus, “organizational advantage” in knowledge transfer is knowledge characteristic-specific rather than general.
This study illuminates the differential effects of organizational boundaries on knowledge transfer by investigating both replication and imitation in conjunction with each other, which has been a weakness in previous studies. This study also investigates knowledge transfer speed, another void in extant research.
This research was supported by the Korea University Grant (Q1410881) and the Research Fund at Korea University Business School. All authors contributed equally to the study and the names are listed in random order. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 2011 Atlanta Competitive Advantage Conference and the Strategic Management Society’s 2012 Annual International Conference, Prague, Czech Republic, where the authors received many helpful suggestions from conference participants. The authors are particularly grateful to Gabriel Szulanski, Glenn Hoetker, Jay Lee, Scott Rockart, and Pam Barr for their useful comments on the earlier drafts.
Kim, B., Kim, M. and Kim, E. (2017), "Characteristics of codified knowledge and replication-imitation speed differentials", Management Decision, Vol. 55 No. 8, pp. 1785-1801. https://doi.org/10.1108/MD-07-2016-0452Download as .RIS
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