Knowledge Transfer within an International Consultancy Company A case study in a Scandinavian context

Examensarbete för masterexamen

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Type: Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master Thesis
Title: Knowledge Transfer within an International Consultancy Company A case study in a Scandinavian context
Abstract: Knowledge is the primary resource for consultancy companies and most knowledge is in the possession of a company’s employees. The main purpose of this thesis is to investigate how knowledge and resources can be transferred between employees working in different countries within an organization. The aim is to explore this transfer of knowledge and collaboration within an international consultancy firm, Niras, by looking at a case regarding the transfer of knowledge within the area of construction of health care facilities and hospitals between Denmark and Sweden. Furthermore, possible challenges and barriers that might exist to implementing this will be explored. The study has an exploratory approach and the methods used for data collection is primarily semi-structured interviews. The literature presents strategies for transferring knowledge; codification and personalization. Furthermore, there are different processes and methods used for the transfer of knowledge. Organizations can use different ICT-tools, for example emails, skype and intranets. Knowledge can also be transferred through meetings, networks and on-the-job training as well as by transfer of employees. The main challenges found for intra-organizational transfer of knowledge across the borders were connected to the knowledge transfer strategy including financial aspects, organizational and national cultures as well as language. The results from the interviews showed that the consultancy company mainly used a personalization strategy, where face-to-face methods were regarded as the best way to transfer knowledge. In addition to this, different ICT tools were used such as skype and intranet. Furthermore, experienced potential barriers to transferring knowledge and collaboration across the borders were: language barriers, differences in organizational culture and financial barriers. The analysis shows that data from the interviews correlates to what was found in the literature. The use of a personalization strategy as the main strategy fits well with a consultancy company and one of the main methods for transferring knowledge across the borders is to transfer employees. Furthermore, the use of networks can also facilitate the transfer of knowledge as well as using ICT tools. The barriers found in literature correlated to the ones discovered from the interviews, however the language and culture barriers are not considered as major barriers in the Scandinavian context due to similarity in between the countries. The conclusions of this study is that by using different forms of knowledge transfer processes that enables interaction among employees, knowledge transfer across the borders can be facilitated. It is concluded that there are barriers which must be taken into consideration and that the case company should develop a more clear strategy for their knowledge transfer.
Keywords: Samhällsbyggnadsteknik;Civil Engineering
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Chalmers tekniska högskola / Institutionen för arkitektur och samhällsbyggnadsteknik
Chalmers University of Technology / Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering
Collection:Examensarbeten för masterexamen // Master Theses

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