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Tacit Knowledge Barriers in Franchising: Practical Solutions
Journal of Workplace Learning
  • Denise Cumberland, University of Louisville
  • Rod P. Githens, University of Louisville
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Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to identify barriers that hinder tacit knowledge transfer in a franchise environment and offer a compendium of solutions that encourage franchisees and franchisors to leverage tacit knowledge as a resource for competitive advantage. Design/methodology/approach– Drawing from the research on franchise organizations there are five barriers to tacit knowledge transfer that present a challenge to both vertical and horizontal information flow in a franchise environment. It is suggested that when specific behaviors and processes are adopted to encourage sharing tacit knowledge it is possible to reduce tension and promote collaboration in the franchise relationship. Findings– Barriers to tacit knowledge transfer in franchise organizations include: Trust, Maturation, Communication, Competition, and Culture. Ideas for fostering knowledge sharing are offered. Research limitations/implications– The factors identified only partially explain why there may be resistance to sharing tacit knowledge between franchisees and franchisors. Solutions recommended will need further testing to assess their impact on creating cultures that embrace tacit knowledge sharing. Practical implications– For franchisors and franchisees to encourage tacit knowledge sharing they will need to recognize and value what each player contributes to the relationship. Originality/value– The identification of specific barriers to tacit knowledge transfer in franchise environment sets the stage for future work that can expand on solutions in the franchise context that potentially has economic and psychological benefits for both parties.
Citation Information
Denise Cumberland and Rod P. Githens. "Tacit Knowledge Barriers in Franchising: Practical Solutions" Journal of Workplace Learning Vol. 24 Iss. 1 (2012) p. 48 - 58 ISSN: 1366-5626
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