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Knowledge transfer in international acquisitions

Henrik Bresman, Julian Birkinshaw and Robert Nobel
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Henrik Bresman: Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm, Sweden
Julian Birkinshaw: London Business School, London, UK
Robert Nobel: Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm, Sweden

Journal of International Business Studies, 2010, vol. 41, issue 1, 5-20

Abstract: This paper reports on a multimethod study of knowledge transfer in international acquisitions. Using questionnaire data we show that the transfer of technological know-how is facilitated by communication, visits & meetings, and by time elapsed since acquisition, while the transfer of patents is associated with the articulability of the knowledge, the size of the acquired unit, and the recency of the acquisition. Using case study data, we show that the immediate post-acquisition period is characterized by imposed one-way transfers of knowledge from the acquirer to the acquired, but over time this gives way to high-quality reciprocal knowledge transfer.

Date: 2010
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