Private firms have played an important role in the rapid growth of China’s economy in the past two decades. As some scholars have argued, China’s economic success in the past two decades has been the result of fast growth by an increasing number of non-state-owned firms (Tsui et al., 2006). As Wu (2006) stated, non-state-owned firms contributed more than 66.7 per cent of the share of GDP in China in the past decade. Certainly various factors have contributed to the fast growth of the private firms and we have yet to understand these factors, especially from a knowledge-management perspective. According to Barney’s (1991) resource-based view of the firm, resources form competitive advantage for the firm when such resources are valuable, rare, inimitable and non-substitutable. Knowledge can be considered as one type of such resources. As Argote and Ingram (2000) pointed out, knowledge sharing among employees can form the source of competitive advantage for a firm.
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