Towards the Microfoundations of Knowledge Flows: An Empirical Investigation of Individual-Level Antecedents of Organizational Practice Adoption


Organizational practice adoption within multinational corporations (MNCs) has been recognized as key driver of competitive advantage (e.g., Kostova, 1999, Szulanski, 1996). In light of limited empirical evidence and intensifying scholarly calls to probe into of the micro-foundations of strategy and knowledge transfers, our project aims to contribute to the literature by focusing on organizational practice adoption as a complex form of "knowledge in use" to explore the role of individuals in the adoption of practices that are disseminated from a corporate parent to subsidiary organizations.
Most existing research on organizational practice adoption has been conducted on the environmental, institutional, and to a certain extent on the organizational levels. With this project, we aim at developing a conceptual model to establish a relationship between individual characteristics of organization members and adoption of organizational practices. We explore personality characteristics as key antecedents to successful organizational practice adoption, following the notion of Felin and Foss (2009) for a course-correction of research towards micro-foundations.
In this research projekt we conduct two separate but interrelated studies which help understand the role of individual level factors in organizational practice adoption as a specific and complex form of knowledge transfers. The first study aims at exploring the role of individuals in organizational practice adoption. The second study turns to the interplay between the individual level and organizational mechanisms and aims at exploring the interaction effects of these two with respect to organizational practice adoption. In order to answer the research questions, we intend to use a very unique and comprehensive data set which is available thanks to a long-lasting and intense collaboration with a Swiss insurance company.
Our contribution will be twofold: Most importantly, we intend to develop new insights and contribute to the field of knowledge management, through participation in the scientific dialogue. In addition, we want to derive hands-on implications to be shared with practitioners, continuing to improve the quality of management education.

Additional Informationsunspecified
Commencement Date1 June 2013
Contributors Ambos, Björn (Project Manager); Schulte Steinberg, Adrian (Project Worker) & Kunisch, Sven (Project Worker)
Institute/School IfB - Institute of Management
Completion Date 1 December 2014
Publications Schulte Steinberg, Adrian; Ambos, Björn & Kunisch, Sven: The Impact of Core Self-Evaluations on Organizational Practice Adoption in the Multinational Corporation. 2014. - Strategic Management Society Special Conference 2013. - Kopenhagen.
HSG Profile Area SoM - Responsible Corporate Competitiveness (RoCC)
Keywords Organizational practice adoption, multi-business corporation, multi-national company, manager, personality traits
Methods Survey research
Funders HSG – Grundlagenforschungsfonds (GFF)
Id 231468
Project Range School
Project Status ongoing
Subjects business studies
Topics Organizational practice adoption
Project Type fundamental research project
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