Chapter

Repositories of Knowledge in Franchise Organizations: Individual, Structural, and Technological

Linda Argote and Eric Darr

in The Nature and Dynamics of Organizational Capabilities

Published in print November 2001 | ISBN: 9780199248544
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596155 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199248540.003.0003
 Repositories of Knowledge in Franchise Organizations: Individual, Structural, and Technological

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Where is knowledge embedded in organizations? The chapter describes results on the persistence and transfer of knowledge in fast food franchises, and presents the results on the productivity of the franchises and on the timeliness of their service. It is shown that the qualitative evidence about where knowledge was embedded in the franchises suggests that knowledge gained from experience at the franchises was embedded in individual workers and in the organizations’ routines, structures, and technologies. It is argued that the fast food franchises were able to realize significant productivity gains in the face of extraordinarily high turnover because a significant component of the knowledge was embedded in the organization's structure and technology rather than in individual employees. Further, embedding knowledge in structure and technology appeared to facilitate the transfer of knowledge across organizations.

Keywords: fast food industry; franchise organizations; knowledge; knowledge transfer; productivity; routines; timeliness

Chapter.  8310 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Microeconomics

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