Organizations, Markets and Imperial Formations

Organizations, Markets and Imperial Formations

Towards an Anthropology of Globalization

Edited by Subhabrata Bobby Banerjee, Vanessa C.M. Chio and Raza Mir

This authoritative book explores the nexus between organization theory, globalization and imperialism and examines the effects of a global order organized around development and markets.

Chapter 5: (How) Does Knowledge Flow? A Critical Analysis of Intra-Organization Knowledge Transfer

Raza Mir, Subhabrata Bobby Banerjee and Ali Mir

Subjects: politics and public policy, international politics

Extract

5. (How) Does knowledge flow? A critical analysis of intraorganizational knowledge transfer Raza Mir, Subhabrata Bobby Banerjee and Ali Mir In this chapter, we argue that the discourse of knowledge transfer in organizational studies fails to record the manner in which this transfer is implicated in the historical experiences of power differences and economic imbalances that undergird the international encounter. The chapter draws on an empirical study of several months conducted by the first author in India, an ethnographic examination of the work practices of the subsidiary of a large US-based multinational corporation (MNC), which we have named Chloron Corporation.1 This chapter is a story of our attempts to make sense of the sea of data collected during this endeavor, through the analysis of a single episode of knowledge transfer. The rest of this chapter is organized in three sections. In the first, we critically survey the representations of knowledge transfer in organizational research. We then present empirical research conducted at Chloron, to highlight the complete disjuncture between the theoretical descriptions of knowledge transfer and the empirical realities of corporate experience. In the final section, we theoretically analyze the research vignette to arrive at a different approach to knowledge transfer than that of mainstream research. KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER AND ORGANIZATIONAL RESEARCH: A CRITICAL ASSESSMENT The notion of organizational knowledge continues to be avidly researched in organizational theory (Coff, 2003; Rico et al., 2008; Sutcliffe and Weber, 2003). Of particular and continuing interest to organizational theorists is the study...

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