ANNA B. KAYES is Visiting Assistant Professor of Human Resource Management at The George Washington University, School of Business. She received a doctorate in education from The George Washington University in Human and Organizational Studies. Her research focuses on power and trust dynamics and how people learn from experience. She has over ten years of experience consulting in human resources. Her research has appeared in Journal of Management Education and Journal of Managerial Psychology.
Transferring Knowledge across Cultures: A Learning Competencies Approach
Article first published online: 22 OCT 2008
© 2005 Learning Systems Institute
Performance Improvement Quarterly
Volume 18, Issue 4, pages 87–100, December 2005
How to Cite
Kayes, A. B., Kayes, D. C. and Yamazaki, Y. (2005), Transferring Knowledge across Cultures: A Learning Competencies Approach. Perf. Improvement Qrtly, 18: 87–100. doi: 10.1111/j.1937-8327.2005.tb00352.x
- Issue published online: 22 OCT 2008
- Article first published online: 22 OCT 2008
At the heart of any successful cross-cultural knowledge transfer effort lies an individual or group of individuals with the skills to manage a complex, ambiguous and often stressful process. The ability to manage the knowledge transfer process depends as much on learning in real time as it does on rational planning. Yet, few approaches to knowledge transfer have considered learning as a primary driver of success. In this article, we draw on new insights on how adults learn from experience in cross-cultural settings to understand the cross-cultural knowledge transfer process. We conceive cross-cultural knowledge transfer as a seven-stage process of learning and describe the essential competencies necessary for managing each of the seven stages. We draw on work with cross-cultural knowledge transfer efforts in a variety of industries and cultures to illustrate this process.