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A qualitative study of inter-organizational knowledge management in complex products and systems development

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Much research has recognized that cross-disciplinary knowledge inputs are necessary to successful product innovation, particularly in complex products and systems (CoPS) development. This paper focuses on developing an exploratory framework for studying how an inter-organizational knowledge management (KM) approach affects the development of CoPS, and exploring how inter-organizational collaboration affects KM within a CoPS context. Based on a review of the literature and in-depth case studies, this paper puts forward some propositions and develops an integrated conceptual model showing the link between the dimensions of inter-organizational KM and the performance of CoPS development. Finally, the implications of the proposed model for inter-organizational KM in a CoPS environment are discussed.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, PR China., Email: 2: School of Management, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310027, PR China. ;, Email:

Publication date: September 1, 2008


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