Transferring Knowledge across Cultures: A Learning Competencies Approach

Authors

  • Anna B. Kayes,

    1. The George Washington University
    Search for more papers by this author
    • 3

      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.

  • D. Christopher Kayes,

    1. The George Washington University
    Search for more papers by this author
    • 4

      D. CHRISTOPHER KAYES is Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior at The George Washington University, School of Business. He received his Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University in Organizational Behavior. His research focuses on how experience is transformed into organizational knowledge, and has appeared in journals such as Human Relations, Academy of Management Learning and Development, and Organizational Dynamics.

  • Yoshitaka Yamazaki

    1. International University of Japan
    Search for more papers by this author
    • 5

      YOSHITAKA YAMAZAKI holds a Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University and is an assistant professor of Organizational Behavior at International University of Japan. His current research interests include cross-cultural learning and adaptation, competent managers in multinational corporations, and effective learning environments of cross-cultural institutions.


Abstract

ABSTRACT

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.

Ancillary