Academic journal article Business: Theory and Practice

Vertical Knowledge Transfer in Czech Organizations

Academic journal article Business: Theory and Practice

Vertical Knowledge Transfer in Czech Organizations

Article excerpt

Introduction

Knowledge is a resource that is currently becoming increasingly important for organizations and forms a basis for developing a suitable strategy and thus achieving a comp etitive advantage (Holjevac et al. 2012; Maruta 2012; Wong 2009). It also confirms Folwarczna (2010) and Matoskova et al. (2013) by stating that knowledge of people in organizations have a potential competitive advantage. Based on the above it can be summarized that the knowledge, skills, involvement and managerial style are a very important factor from the point of organization competitiveness (Matoskova et al. 2013).

According to Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995), the most common categorisation of knowledge is the classification distinguishing explicit and tacit knowledge used by Biloslavo, Gorela (2012), Frappaolo (2006). Matoskova et al. (2013), Eraut (2000), Sternberg and Wagner (1992) and Kerr (1995) state that a factor which decides whether employees and managers will be successful in their profession is tacit knowledge. There are several definitions of tacit knowledge. Matoskova et al. (2013) and Bures (2007) define tacit knowledge as "what we know about what we do". Choi (2001) understands it as an automatic, often intuitive action or reaction to concrete circumstances. Tacit knowledge includes experience, know-how, skills, abilities, and intuition. According to Shamsie and Mannor (2013), tacit knowledge can serve as a critical resource and can provide strong advantages for all organizations. Explicit knowledge has a more objective, rational and technical nature (plans, procedures, software, documents, etc.). Unlike tacit knowledge, explicit knowledge may be, due to its form, transferred without personal contact (Dima 2012; Wang Z., Wang N. 2012). Implicit knowledge "stored" in employees' heads is a part of tacit knowledge; however, it may be given an explicit form (Biloslavo, Gorela 2012). It is necessary to realise that by using it knowledge does not deteriorate and is not wasted; on the contrary, its repeated use may lead to its improvement, deepening, and development and may contribute to the development, improvement and creation of new knowledge. Tacit knowledge is more valuable for organizations as it is linked to an individual and makes him/her unique, from the point of view of the organization (Beazley et al. 2002). Knowledge represents a one-of-a-kind resource for organizations and if used efficiently (from the market perspective this is original and rare) and applied in practice (an employee effects an original action unachievable by competitors), it will ensure the success and a competitive advantage (Pilkova et al. 2013; Teece 2009). It is a resource that is valuable, rare, inimitable and difficult to substitute.

Generally, knowledge creation is determined by external and internal factors. External factors include micro-environmental (business partners, competition, the public, customers, etc.) and macro-environmental (economic, technological, demographic, natural, legislative and other impacts) factors. Internal factors are examined at two levels, i.e. individual and organizational levels (Martin-De Castro et al. 2013; Locke, Latham 2004; Ramlall 2004; Ipe 2003). Individual-level factors are related to one specific employee while organizational-level factors are determined by the given organization (Cow 2012). Individual organizational processes take place based on knowledge application (Wong 2009) by organizations. Organizations themselves can support knowledge transfer by providing suitable conditions and mechanisms for knowledge sharing. Suitable conditions can be achieved by the cultivation of organizational culture, focusing on support and development of motivation to knowledge sharing (Matoskova et al. 2013).

The transfer of knowledge in an organization is a process integrating two mutually linked and interdependent partial processes, i.e. horizontal and vertical knowledge transfer (Kalkan 2006). …

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