Skip to main content
Knowledge flow and boundary crossing at the periphery of a MNC
International Business Review
  • Fok Loi, Jacky HONG, University of Macau, Macau
  • Robin Stanley SNELL, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
  • Mark EASTERBY-SMITH, Lancaster University, UK
Document Type
Journal article
Publication Date
Pergamon Press
  • Boundary crossing,
  • Inter-organizational learning,
  • Knowledge transfer,
  • MNCs,
  • Power

In this paper, we develop a model of four modes of knowledge flow, two involving knowledge acquisition and sharing, and two involving the localizing, embedding and investment of knowing in practice. We illustrate the model with data from an embedded case study involving a focal China-based subsidiary of a Japanese MNC, its headquarters, and two of its local suppliers. While power asymmetries appeared to have substantial impact on the terms upon which syntactic, semantic and pragmatic boundaries were crossed, successful knowledge transfer and boundary crossing appeared to depend on the willingness and ability of the various parties to engage in joint development of knowledge for mutual benefit.

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2009 Elsevier Ltd

Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version
Publisher’s Version
Citation Information
Hong, J. F. L., Snell, R. S., & Easterby-Smith, M. (2009). Knowledge flow and boundary crossing at the periphery of a MNC. International Business Review, 18(6), 539-554. doi: 10.1016/j.ibusrev.2009.08.001