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Breaking the Enigma of Knowledge Transfer Performance: A qualitative case study investigating the complexity of knowledge transfer in international acquistions
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The complexity of knowledge transfer during acquisitions is known to create a big challenge for MNEs investing abroad. Additionally, the surrounding nature in which the MNE operates is often multifaceted and diverse which put pressure on the MNEs ability to transfer necessary knowledge. However, also the transferring process of knowledge is complex and previous research has indicated that in order to be successful the MNE need to take into account both the efficiency and the effectiveness of knowledge transfer. Still, the relationship between these two determinates of knowledge transfer has not yet been explicitly studied, especially not in the setting of an acquisition.  Through this study, the relationship between effectiveness and efficiency have be further investigated in the setting of an acquisition. The purpose was to gain a deeper understand of which factors that influence the relationship as well as to investigate in what way the identified factors influence the relationship between effective and efficient knowledge transfer.

In order to fulfil the purpose of the thesis an embedded case study have been conducted. By closely studying three acquisitions recently made by the Swedish truck company Scania interesting results has emerged. Through 24 face-to-face interviews respondents have been asked to give their personal opinion regarding the acquisition. The interview sample contain a high variety of respondents with different competences, experiences and professional positions. This variation have led to a rich data set. The data have thereafter been coded using an inductive analysis method.

The analysed results of this thesis indicate that the relationship between efficiency and effectiveness is dynamic and dependent upon the setting in which the acquisition take place. The research identified three type of factors (1. Institutional factors 2. Cultural factors and 3. Subsidiary factors) that through their complex interplay influence the knowledge transfer relationship during the acquisition. Still, in order to achieve a successful knowledge transfer the MNE must understand and respond to the surrounding factors of the acquisition. Only then can an optimal level of efficient and effective knowledge transfer be achieved. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 52 p.
Keyword [en]
International acquisitions, contingency theory, knowledge transfer performance
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-256266OAI: diva2:824901
Subject / course
Business Studies
Educational program
Master Programme in Business and Management
Available from: 2015-06-23 Created: 2015-06-22 Last updated: 2015-06-23Bibliographically approved

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