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Title: Backward Linkages and Knowledge Transfer. Evidence from the Polish Automotive Sector
Author: Gentile-Ludecke, Simona
ISNI:       0000 0004 2682 0509
Awarding Body: The University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2009
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The main focus of this study is on the impact of vertical knowledge transfer from Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) to indigenous Polish suppliers. It concentrates on the type of knowledge transferred by foreign subsidiaries and acquired by local suppliers as well as to the extent to which vertical linkages increase the capacity of local firms helping them to create new knowledge. The data analysed were collected through a mail survey and semi-structured interviews with two groups of firms: foreign subsidiaries and locallyowned suppliers in the Polish automotive sector. Using firm-level data both the type and extent of knowledge transferred by foreign subsidiaries and acquired by suppliers are analysed. The context of influencing factors such as inter-firm relationships and firm-level characteristics was taken into consideration. Furthermore, the impact of knowledge acquisition on local firms' capabilities and potential for new knowledge creation IS investigated. Using a sample of 64 companies (23 foreign subsidiaries and 41 locally owned suppliers) empirical evidence shows that foreign subsidiaries transfer knowledge to their Polish suppliers, and that locally owned suppliers, particularly those with a higher degree of technological penetration, are able to create new knowledge as result of their business interaction with foreign owned customers. The type of knowledge most frequently transferred/acquired comprises organisational and managerial know-how as well as product technology support. Looking at influential factors, empirical evidence shows that (a) subsidiary characteristics (autonomy in supply related decisions, role, age) influence the transfer of knowledge to suppliers, and also relationship characteristics (quality of relationship between subsidiary and local firms) playa relevant role in stimulating the transfer process; (b) relationship characteristics (length and quality of relationship) influence the acquisition of knowledge by domestic suppliers; (c) knowledge acquisition influences positively the performance improvement of locally owned suppliers; (d) locally owned suppliers characteristics (R&D intensity) and relationship characteristics (quality of relationship) have a positive influence on the creation of new knowledge. The key contributions of this study are twofold: it provides a comprehensive view of buyer-supplier knowledge transfer, taking both foreign subsidiaries and locally owned suppliers into account, and it proposes a framework that links knowledge transfer to absorption and impact on firms' competitiveness and innovativeness.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available