Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The creation of new knowledge through the transfer of existing knowledge: Examining the conundrum of creation and control in innovation
by Sexton, Jennifer C., D.B.A., The Florida State University, 2012, 139; 3551215
Abstract (Summary)

The focus of this dissertation is on innovation through the lens of knowledge transfer and knowledge creation, and as such, begins to integrate the literature between these two relatively disparate streams of research. Because innovations can result in revolutionary changes in technology, products, or processes, they represent clear departures from existing firm knowledge and practice. However, the creation of new knowledge within the firm develops from the transfer of existing knowledge within the firm. While innovation is often considered to be a spontaneous, emergent process within the firm, the transfer of knowledge within the firm is often dependent upon organizational controls and processes.

Organizational controls are designed to manage resource and knowledge flows within an organization efficiently and effectively. Ironically, these controls are necessary to encourage resource sharing and knowledge transfer within an organization, yet they may also predetermine established patterns of communication and sharing and limit where and when transfer occurs. So, organizational controls are necessary for knowledge transfer, yet they may limit the very transfer necessary for new knowledge creation and innovation to occur. This dissertation examines this conundrum by exploring how firms manage the creation of new knowledge through the control of the transfer of existing knowledge. Specifically, the research question addressed in this study is, "How do organizational controls affect internal knowledge transfer and knowledge creation within the firm?"

This dissertation employed a quantitative, non-experimental, survey-based research design. Primary data were collected from middle- to upper-level managers. The hypotheses were tested using both structural equation modeling (SEM) and partial least squares (PLS) regression. Additional post-hoc analyses were also conducted to extend the insight of the findings. Results provided support for several hypotheses, such that knowledge transfer is an antecedent of innovation within the firm. Also, input, structural, and output controls were found to have significant effects on knowledge transfer and innovation. A discussion of the results includes an evaluation of research limitations, suggestions for future research, contributions to the literature, and practical implications.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ranft, Annette L., Lamont, Bruce T.
Commitee: Hartline, Michael D., Holcomb, Tim R., Paradice, David
School: The Florida State University
Department: Management
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 74/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Management
Keywords: Innovation, Knowledge transfer, Organizational controls
Publication Number: 3551215
ISBN: 9781267887313