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Title: Strategic management of China local knowledge : European multinationals in China
Author: Li, Shenxue
ISNI:       0000 0001 3609 4561
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2004
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China has been attracting significant foreign investment since it opened up. Yet, foreign investors' performance in this strategic market has been variable. Previous literature does not fully investigate the causes and forces that explain their performance differences. This study contributes to our understanding of this issue by looking into the role of local knowledge and investigating its management strategies. It examines the concept and the nature of local knowledge, identifies local knowledge sources, explores the local knowledge management process, and investigates its implementation in terms of resistances and strategies. The study first advances a general framework of knowledge management. It then introduces the key argument of this theoretical framework into the Chinese business context and develops a theoretical model of strategic management of China local knowledge, from which eight qualitative hypotheses are derived. A multi-method qualitative empirical study was undertaken in order to examine the concept of local knowledge and investigate how local knowledge was actually exploited by multinational firms. Eleven face-to-face interviews with managers from 11 European multinationals in 10 sectors, field observation of 2 Chinese projects involving 6 European companies, and 17 multi-level interviews with local managers from 4 Chinese organizations were conducted. The empirical findings were compared with the key arguments of the theoretical model in order to assess the extent to which they support the theoretical stand, and propose a justified model of strategic management of China local knowledge. It is concluded that the findings supported many, but not all, of the theoretical arguments. The most striking findings are as follows: First, unlike global knowledge transferred to China market, which is codified and accessible, China local knowledge is highly tacit, undiffused and fast-changing. It is this intrinsic and fast-changing nature of China local knowledge determines its greater impact upon the multinational firm's business performance in this dynamic market. Second, local knowledge cannot be effectively managed unless specific management conditions are created. These conditions include common knowledge, multi-layered knowledge interfaces, and a 'pull and push' system. Third, knowledge transfer is not an optimal choice of managing local knowledgc~ to exploit the full value of local knowledge both knowledge transfer approach and knowledge integration mechanism should be employed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available