The Nature and Dimensions of Knowledge Mobility for Competitive Advantage

Pia Hurmelinna-Laukkanen*, Heidi Olander, Max Von Zedtwitz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


Knowledge exchange generally leads to mutual benefits, but unintentional knowledge transfer may have negative consequences for the original knowledge owner. Knowledge loss may be caused by, e.g., key employees leaving, and if key knowledge assets are obtained by competitors, it may harm the competitiveness of the firm. As the dynamics of overall knowledge mobility are rather abstract and difficult to grasp, this study first reviews the debate on the relevance of knowledge mobility and protection for competitive advantage. To identify the dimensions of knowledge mobility we seek explanations for how and why knowledge moves, what kind of knowledge moves, and where and how knowledge flows occur. Based on earlier literature and empirical evidence from qualitative research, we develop a categorization of dimensions of knowledge mobility. In particular, we suggest that intentionality of knowledge mobility reveals other dimensions of the type, modality, and locus. This categorization allows a sharper analytical evaluation of the nature of the connection between knowledge mobility and protection.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationKnowledge Management and Organizational Learning : Cross-Sectoral Insights into the Future of Competitive Advantage
EditorsElena-Mădălina Vătămănescu, Florina Magdalena Pînzaru
Number of pages20
Place of PublicationCham
Publication date2018
ISBN (Print)9783319668895
ISBN (Electronic)9783319668901
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
SeriesKnowledge Management and Organizational Learning

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© 2018, Springer International Publishing AG.

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