Transferring Collective Knowledge: Teaching and Learning in the Chinese Auto Industry
This article studies teaching and learning strategies that firms use to transfer collective knowledge between organizations. The benefits of group teaching and group learning in transferring collective knowledge from a source community to a recipient community are discussed first, followed by an examination of international R&D capability transfer in the Chinese auto industry, based on interviews at multiple ventures in China and the US. Several results emerge from the study. Group teaching is more effective than individual teaching in helping recipients understand multiple dimensions of a source’s collective knowledge and in creating bridge networks, and group learning is more effective than individual learning for helping trainees integrate their learning and then re-embed it with their local context. Among four teaching–learning configurations, group teaching–group learning is the most effective transfer strategy for transferring collective knowledge. Individual teaching–individual learning transfers collective knowledge poorly, but can lay a foundation for more complex teaching–learning combinations. The sequence of group teaching– individual learning followed by individual teaching–group learning is less costly than group–group education but takes longer and is less effective for transferring collective knowledge. © 2004, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.
Zhao, Z; Anand, J; Mitchell, W
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