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The acquisition of tacit knowledge in international outsourcing relationships : the Malaysian supplier perspective

Tacit knowledge has been acknowledged to be a strategic source of sustainable competitive advantage. Thus, there is a great urgency for a firm to accumulate a stock of tacit knowledge. The acquisition of tacit knowledge through relationships with foreign business partners is deemed significant in increasing a firm’s competitiveness as it allows the firm to access not only tacit knowledge but other idiosyncratic resources belonging to its partners. A manufacturing supplier who engages in international outsourcing relationships can use the opportunity provided by collaborating with its foreign buyers to obtain tacit knowledge that is new and valuable to it. Once the external tacit knowledge is assimilated and applied within the supplier firm, its level of competency and business opportunities are expected to increase. Using survey data from 122 Malaysian manufacturing suppliers, this study attempts to analyze the effects of absorptive capacity and relational capital components on the Malaysian suppliers’ acquisition of tacit knowledge from their international outsourcing relationships. It also investigates the implications of the newly acquired tacit knowledge in enhancing the suppliers’ capabilities and opportunity recognition. -- Three important absorptive capacity components of prior related knowledge, business relatedness and interactive involvement have been identified as important in facilitating the supplier’s learning process. From the relational capital perspective, this study examines the roles of trust, interaction and cultural sensitivity play in the supplier’s tacit knowledge acquisition. In reference to the absorptive capacity, the findings reveal that the interactive involvement appears to be the most critical factor, while prior related knowledge is not significantly related to the success of tacit knowledge acquisition.
Date January 2012
CreatorsMd Saad, Norsafinas
PublisherKing's College London (University of London)
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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