Foundations of International Business in the Age of Intellectual Capitalism
New Horizons in International Business series
Chapter 5: Local knowledge
The key to differentiating between shared knowledge, symbiotic knowledge and local knowledge is found in seeing whether they possess the attribute of "purposefulness". In the case of shared knowledge, the number of participants is limited. The ones who participate in the suggestion system at Toyota's factory are limited to the employees of Toyota. In this sense, it is purposeful. Even in the case of symbiotic knowledge, we see people gathering, who were invited or urged by a coordinator to participate for a specific purpose. In the case of symbiotic knowledge what emerges is not as clear as in the case of shared knowledge, but there is a common recognition as to what it attempts to produce. In such a way, creating symbiotic knowledge is also a "purposeful" activity. Local knowledge is knowledge that is rooted in a local area, but is supported by people who do not necessarily gather for a specific purpose. Therefore, even though local knowledge is endorsed by local people, there is no coercion to create it. In this sense, local knowledge is not purposeful. As mentioned in Chapter 2 of this book, local knowledge is conveyed by agglomerate strategy. Accordingly, local knowledge is a process of knowledge that emerges from industrial agglomeration. The local knowledge emerging from specific local communities form processes of knowledge that support next-generation industrial clusters.
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