Reverse knowledge and technology transfer: imbalances caused by cognitive barriers in asymmetric relationships

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An imbalance exists in almost any type of knowledge and technology transfer due to the information asymmetry of the relationship. However, this is especially the case for reverse technology and knowledge transfer which is epitomised for us by "transfers from an MNC's subsidiary to its headquarters". This paper builds on the few pieces of research in the area of reverse knowledge transfer and, by integrating the cognitive barriers to reverse knowledge transfer produces a conceptualisation which emphasises the importance of informal mechanisms such as social networks. This establishes a theoretical framework for the investigation of barriers to successful reverse knowledge transfer including failure of psychological contracts, perceived lack of procedural justice, a lack of intrinsic motivation, psychic distance and liability of foreignness.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)389-402
Number of pages14
JournalInternational journal of technology management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • foreignness
  • Technology Transfer
  • multinational corporations
  • MNCs
  • MNC subsidiaries
  • MNC imbalance
  • psychic distance
  • METIS-256610
  • MNC headquarters
  • Reverse knowledge transfer
  • IR-71775
  • psychological contracts
  • procedural justice
  • intrinsic motivation
  • subsidiary
  • asymmetric relationships
  • cognitive barriers
  • Social Networks

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