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Title: Knowledge transfer across cultural boundaries in the global economy based on the model of travel of ideas exemplified by the quality transfer in car manufacture from West Europe to Poland
Author: Dobosz-Bourne, Dorota
Awarding Body: University of Luton
Current Institution: University of Bedfordshire
Date of Award: 2004
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The idea of quality has travelled globally for many years as a result of globalisation (Crosby, 1979; Deming, 1989). It has become a key factor of increased competition in the global economy, which led to the attempts of international companies to transfer quality to different locations and cultures in order to achieve high-quality standards globally. Car manufacture became an important field for the international knowledge transfer. A quest to achieve high quality in car manufacturing has travelled along various management tools and production models since 1911 (Tolliday, 1998) and after 1990 it also began to travel to Eastern Europe, including Poland. The concept of quality in car manufacture in Poland is a good example of an idea that was successfully translated. Due to the absence of research on this topic it was chosen as a subject for this study. Henceforth, this thesis investigated the travel of the idea of quality in the car manufacturing industry, from Western Europe to Poland. The research explored the process by which this idea was negotiated within General Motors company, in particular its two plants -Vauxhall Luton in the UK and Opel Polska in Poland. A group of 30 managers involved in the knowledge transfer between these two locations were interviewed by means of ethnographic and the Repertory Grid techniques. A combination of these two methods contributed to our knowledge about the possible methods that can assist the exploration of the organisational cultures and values embedded in them. Additionally, the application of this methodological approach gave us an insight into the Resistance to Change phenomenon and possible factors behind it. The thesis identified reverse translation as an important area for future research. Reverse translation may be equally important as the forward process (Boyer et al, 1998), and in this study we argued that the initial research, prior to reverse translation and the identification of the appropriate type of RD to be implemented, can play a crucial role in the outcome of this process.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: N120 International Business studies ; motor industry ; Vauxhall ; globalisation ; quality management ; car manufacturing ; Poland ; Opel Polska ; knowledge transfer