Knowledge and the boundaries of the firm : design and permeability

Galvin, Peter, Tywoniak, Stephane, & Sutherland, Janet (2007) Knowledge and the boundaries of the firm : design and permeability. In Chapman, Ross (Ed.) Managing Our Intellectual and Social Capital: 21st ANZAM 2007 Conference, 4 - 7 December, Sydney, Australia.


Organisational boundaries can be analysed via a variety of lenses – organisational design principles, transaction cost economics, property rights and agency theory, amongst others. We review these before taking a knowledge-based perspective to firstly explain how the boundaries of the firm are determined by the knowledge resources present, and second, to highlight how conceptualising the drivers of competitive advantage in terms of knowledge and learning create a backdrop for understanding the move towards intermediate or hybrid organisational forms most commonly characterised by strategic alliances. We subsequently propose that the exact location of these naturally more fluid boundaries of the firm that exist in conjunction with strategic alliances are not as important as the level of permeability of the organisational boundaries. Permeable organisational boundaries allow for more efficient use of key knowledge resources; for firms to make and buy the same activity simultaneously and for learning to occur – a key driver of competitive advantage for those that subscribe to the knowledge-based view or the dynamic capabilities view of competitive advantage.

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ID Code: 11218
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the conference website (see hypertext link) or contact the authors.
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Cross, boundary Knowledge Transfer, Agency Theory, Resource, based View, Transaction Cost Economics, Knowledge, based View of the Firm, CRC for Construction Innovation, Program A : Business and Industry Development, Project 2006-039-A : Managing Knowledge in an Outsourcing Environment
ISBN: 1863081402
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Organisational Planning and Management (150312)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Innovation and Technology Management (150307)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Business Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Research Centres > CRC Construction Innovation
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Design
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Icon.Net Pty Ltd
Copyright Statement: The Participants of the CRC for Construction Innovation have delegated authority to the CEO of the CRC to give Participants permission to publish material created by the CRC for Construction Innovation. This delegation is contained in Clause 30 of the Agreement for the Establishment and Operation of the Cooperative Research Centre for Construction Innovation. The CEO of the CRC for Construction Innovation gives permission to the Queensland University of Technology to publish the papers/publications provided in the collection in QUT ePrints provided that the publications are published in full. Icon.Net Pty Ltd retains copyright to the publications. Any other usage is prohibited without the express permission of the CEO of the CRC. The CRC warrants that Icon.Net Pty Ltd holds copyright to all papers/reports/publications produced by the CRC for Construction Innovation.
Deposited On: 17 Dec 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:32

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