Session 206

Knowledge Replication, Transfer and Absorption

Track I

Date: Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Time: 14:15 – 15:30


Room: Governor's Square 14

Session Chair:

  • Susan Cohen, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Title: A Recombination Based Internationalization Model: Perspectives from Narayana Health’s Journey from India to the Cayman Islands


  • Budhaditya Gupta, Harvard University
  • Tarun Khanna, Harvard University

Abstract: In this paper we study the development of a hospital in the Cayman Islands by Narayana Health (NH), a complex of health centers based in India. Contrary to the view that the alignment of a firm’s capabilities with the home country’s environment makes internationalization difficult, we observe that the Cayman project benefited from the capabilities that NH developed within India. First, NH management developed broad cognitive capabilities while establishing several different hospital models to serve the heterogeneous India market and addressing its numerous local institutional constraints. This, in turn, informed and shaped the Cayman project. Second, the different hospital models in India allowed NH to selectively borrow from a broad set of operational capabilities while setting up the Cayman hospital. More broadly, our study illustrates that knowledge and learning gained through contextualization to home environment variations and nuances can improve a firm’s ability to internationalize.

Title: Creating Absorptive Capacity: Evidence from New Ventures Participating in Accelerator Programs


  • Susan Cohen, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Abstract: This study explores how absorptive capacity is transferred to and absorbed by new ventures. Using an inductive multiple-case study of ventures participating in accelerators, I find that ventures create absorptive capacity by adopting standardized structure from experts, rather than create their own; expanding discovery with external advisors rather than beginning with implementation; and embracing coopetition amongst peers to identify and close knowledge gaps. This study contributes to strategy by challenging the notion that firms need to begin with internal R&D to build absorptive capacity, to organizational theory by highlighting how knowledge sources package and ventures unpack absorptive capacity and to entrepreneurship by suggesting that one of the roles accelerators play is orchestrating the acquisition of absorptive capacity.

Title: The Costs and Benefits of Collaborating across Geographic Distance and Organizational Boundaries


  • Marie Louise Mors, Copenhagen Business School
  • David Waguespack, University of Maryland

Abstract: Collaborating across formal organization boundaries is costly, as it requires actors to overcome spatial distance and enter new knowledge domains. In this paper we shed further light on the costs of cross-boundary collaborations. In particular, we examine how such collaborations evolve and whether the costs persist over time. We study the collaborations of 7397 unique individuals that participated in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) from 1994 to 2005. Our findings suggest that crossing both organizational boundaries and geographic distance is positively related to the persistence of collaborations. Yet we find that crossing geographic distance does become more costly over time - perhaps suggesting that low quality projects get sorted from the process. However, crossing organizational boundaries becomes less costly through repeat interaction.

Title: Unravelling the Replication Dilemma: The Impact of the Type, Timing, and Local Context of Replication


  • Dimo Ringov, ESADE Business School
  • Haibo Liu, University of California, Riverside
  • Robert Jensen, Brigham Young University
  • Gabriel Szulanski, INSEAD

Abstract: Leveraging a firm’s knowledge assets through the replication of its productive routines is a major driver of growth and profitability. Yet, replicating organizational routines is far from trivial. A fundamental tension, a “replication dilemma” (Winter & Szulanski, 2001), often exists between the benefits of replicating a system of organizational routines (template) precisely and the benefits of adapting it to fit new environments. This paper aims to reconcile the tension between adaptation and replication perspectives by employing a contingency-based approach. We propose that the type, timing, and local context of replication significantly moderate the performance impact of template replication accuracy. We subject our propositions to an empirical examination using unique data on template-based replication in 2,038 outlets of a large franchise organization between 1991 and 2001.

All Sessions in Track I...

Sun: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 276: K&I Sunday Panel: Big Data & Analytics in Strategy
Sun: 09:45 – 11:00
Session 277: K&I Foundations Session: A Conversation with Dan Levinthal
Sun: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 278: K&I Sunday Panel: Knowledge and Innovation in models of Business Models
Sun: 16:15 – 17:30
Session 104: Resource Allocation and Innovation
Session 261: Knowledge Creation and Sharing in Virtual Communities
Sun: 17:45 – 00:00
Session 317: Knowledge and Innovation Business Meeting
Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 62: Multi-level perspectives on capability development
Session 105: Sourcing Strategies for Knowledge
Session 256: Innovation and the Strategy-Performance Relationship
Mon: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 203: Post Acquisition Learning
Session 204: Acquiring human capital: Process and outcomes
Mon: 13:45 – 15:00
Session 107: Evolving Industries, Evolving Products
Session 205: Knowledge Recombination and Interdependencies
Mon: 16:45 – 18:00
Session 100: Innovation Management in Networks, Ecosystems, and Innovation Hubs
Session 200: Strategic Leadership, Learning, and Exploration
Tue: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 136: Innovating and Learning in Collaborative Alliances
Session 255: Processes for Innovation and Ideation
Tue: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 101: Strategic Patenting
Session 137: Entrepreneurial Experience and Cognition: Implications for Venture Performance
Tue: 14:15 – 15:30
Session 198: Emerging Market Strategies
Session 206: Knowledge Replication, Transfer and Absorption
Tue: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 17: Human Capital and Entrepreneurship
Session 108: Open Innovation: Antecedents and Performance Effects
Session 262: Pioneering Knowledge
Tue: 17:30 – 18:45
Session 60: Blurring the Boundaries of Strategy Work
Session 202: Team Dynamics and Creativity
Session 271: Spinouts

Strategic Management Society