en pl
en pl

Central European Management Journal

Zobacz wydanie
Rok 2018 
Tom 26 
Numer 2

Managing Reverse Knowledge Flows in Routine ReplicationPrograms: The Case of Global Manufacturing ERP Template Rollout

2018 26 (2) Central European Management Journal

DOI 10.7206/jmba.ce.2450-7814.228


Purpose: Acknowledging the key role of knowledge transfer as the primarily mechanism, through which firms replicate organizational routines, this paper addresses the role of reverse knowledge flows in routine replication programs and attempts identifying a set of mechanisms that could facilitate these knowledge flows. Furthermore, the article aims to provide a proposal for a structured approach to reverse knowledge flow management that would combine in the same framework (1) the deployment of routines in new contexts and (2) the collection, transformation, and redeployment of local knowledge.

Methodology: The applied methodology follows the interpretative research approach. It draws from a longitudinal study of a seven-year-long replication program, during which an ERP template has been deployed in twenty-five manufacturing sites and five regional offices of a leading multinational FMCG company. The main research method was participant observation complemented with interviews, project documentation, and e-mail communication analysis.

Findings: The paper shows that, in the course of multiple replications, the replicated template becomes subject to several adjustments in order to fit new requirements, eliminate observed shortcomings, and adopt learnings from previous deployment sites. The article further demonstrates that keeping such template enhancement process effective requires deliberate management of reverse knowledge flows, which maturity should grow in parallel to the scope of the program and number of replications. This means that reverse knowledge flows must increasingly base on well-established processes with assigned resources, clear responsibilities, and socio-material mechanisms. This is a prerequisite for the subsequent deployments and retrofits of an enriched template to become the key vehicle for the diffusion of local learnings on a company-wide scale.

Originality: This paper contributes to the literature on organizational routines by addressing the role of reverse knowledge flows in routine replication processes, proposing a structured approach to reverse knowledge flow management in routine replication processes, proposing a structured approach to reverse knowledge flow management in routine replication programs, and presenting a maturity model for a reverse knowledge flow management system.


  1. Aime, S.J., Johnson, S., Ridge, J.W. and Hill, A.D. (2010). The routine may be stable but the advantage is not: Competitive implications of key employee mobility. Strategic Management Journal, 31(1): 75–87, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smj.809 [Google Scholar]
  2. Argote, L. and Ingram, P. (2000). Knowledge transfer: a basis for competitive advantage in firms. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 82: 150–169, http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/obhd.2000.2893 [Google Scholar]
  3. Baden-Fuller, C. and Winter, S.G. (2005). Replicating organizational knowledge. Working Paper 0515, Papers on Economics and Evolution, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics: 1–40. [Google Scholar]
  4. Becker, M. and Lazaric, N. (2003). The influence of knowledge in the replication of routines. Économie appliquée: archives de l'Institut de science économique appliquée, 56(3): 65–94. [Google Scholar]
  5. Bertels, S., Howard-Grenville, J. and Pek, S. (2016). Cultural molding, shielding, and shoring at Oilco: The role of culture in the integration of routines. Organization Science, 27(3): 573–593, http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc.2016.1052. [Google Scholar]
  6. Bouquet, C., Birkinshaw, J. and Barsoux, J.-L. (2016). Fighting the "Headquarters Knows Best" Syndrome. MIT Sloan Management Review, 57(2): 59–66. [Google Scholar]
  7. Czernek, K. (2015). Wprowadzenie do badań jakościowych w naukach o zarządzaniu. W: W. Czakon (red.), Podstawy metodologii badań w naukach o zarządzaniu, wydanie III rozszerzone. Warszawa: Wolters Kluwer Polska. [Google Scholar]
  8. D’Adderio, L. (2011). Artifacts at the centre of routines. Performing the material turn in routines theory. Journal of Institutional Economics, 7: 187–230. [Google Scholar]
  9. D’Adderio, L. (2014). The replication dilemma unraveled: How organizations enact multiple goals in routine transfer. Organization Science, 25(5): 1325–1350, http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc.2014.0913 [Google Scholar]
  10. Feldman, M.S. (2000). Organizational routines as a source of continuous change. Organization science, 11(6): 611–629, http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc.11.6.611.12529 [Google Scholar]
  11. Friesl, M. and Larty, J. (2013). Replication of routines in organizations: existing literature and new perspectives. International Journal of Management Reviews, 15(1): 106–122, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2370.2012.00340.x [Google Scholar]
  12. Gupta, A., Hoopes, D.G. and Knott, A.M. (2015). Redesigning routines for replication. Strategic Management Journal, 36(6): 851–871, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smj.2254 [Google Scholar]
  13. Hodgson, G.M. (2009), The Nature and Replication of Routines. In: M. Becker and N. Lazaric (red.), Organizational Routines: Advancing Empirical Research, Edward Elgar, Cheltencham UK, Northampton, NA USA, http://dx.doi.org/10.4337/9781848447240.00008 [Google Scholar]
  14. Huber, T., Alt, R. and Osterle, H. (2000, January). Templates-instruments for standardizing ERP systems. In: System Sciences, 2000. Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Hawaii International Conference on Science Systems HICSS, Maui, Hawaii, http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/HICSS.2000.926906 [Google Scholar]
  15. Jonsson, A. and Foss, N.J. (2011). International expansion through flexible replication: learning from the international experience of IKEA. Journal of International Business Studies, 42: 1079–1102, http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/jibs.2011.32 [Google Scholar]
  16. Konlechner, S. (2011). Spiel‘s noch einmal, Sam. Austrian Management Review, 1: 34–44. [Google Scholar]
  17. Konlechner S. and Güttel W.H. (2011). Die Evolution von Replikationsstrategien im Spannungfeld von Exploration und Exploitation. In: M. Stephan and M. Kerber (ed.), Jahrbuch strategisches Kompetenzmanagement: "Ambidextrie": Der unternehmerische Drahtseilakt zwischen Ressourcenexploration und exploitation, 4: 27–56. [Google Scholar]
  18. Madhok, A. (1997). Cost, value and foreign market entry mode: The transaction and the firm. Strategic Management Journal, 18(1): 39–61, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1097-0266(199701)18:1%3C39::AID-SMJ841%3E3.3.CO;2-A [Google Scholar]
  19. March, J.G. (1991). Exploration and exploitation in organizational learning. Organization Science, 2: 71–87, http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc.2.1.71 [Google Scholar]
  20. McDonald, C. (1998). The evolution of Intel’s copy exactly policy. Intel Technology Journal, Q4: 1–6. [Google Scholar]
  21. Maritan, C.A. and Brush, T.H. (2003). Heterogeneity and transferring practices: implementing flow manufacturing in multiple plants. Strategic Management Journal, 24: 945–959, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smj.311 [Google Scholar]
  22. Nelson, R.R. and Winter, S.G. (1982). An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change. Cambridge. [Google Scholar]
  23. Orlikowski, W.J. (2002). Knowing in practice: Enacting a collective capability in distributed organizing. Organization Science, 13(3): 249–273, http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc. [Google Scholar]
  24. Patora-Wysocka, Z. (2015). Spontaneous action and everyday practice in the fashion business. Fibres & Textiles in Eastern Europe, 4(112): 8–13, http://dx.doi.org/10.5604/12303666.1152700 [Google Scholar]
  25. Pisano, G.P. (1994). Knowledge, integration, and the locus of learning: An empirical analysis of process development. Strategic Management Journal, 15(S1): 85–100, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smj.4250150907 [Google Scholar]
  26. Pentland, B.T. and Feldman, M.S. (2008. Designing routines: On the folly of designing artifacts, while hoping for patterns of action. Information & Organization, 18: 235–250, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.infoandorg.2008.08.001 [Google Scholar]
  27. Rivkin, J.W. (2001). Reproducing knowledge: replication without imitation at moderate complexity. Organization Science, 12: 274–293, http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc. [Google Scholar]
  28. Szulanski, G. (1996). Exploring internal stickiness: impediments to the transfer of best practice within the firm. Strategic Management Journal, 17: 27–43, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smj.4250171105 [Google Scholar]
  29. Szulanski, G., Cappetta, R. and Jensen, R.J. (2004), When and How Trustworthiness Matters: Knowledge Transfer and the Moderating Effect of Causal Ambiguity. Organization Science, 15(5): 600–613, http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc.1040.0096 [Google Scholar]
  30. Szulanski, G. and Jensen, R.J. (2004). Overcoming stickiness: An empirical investigation of the role of the template in the replication of organizational routines. Managerial and Decision Economics, 25(6–7): 347–363, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mde.1195 [Google Scholar]
  31. Szulanski, G. and Jensen, R.J. (2008). Growing through copying: the negative consequences of innovation on franchise network growth. Research Policy, 37: 1732–1741, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2008.08.012 [Google Scholar]
  32. Szulanski, G. and Winter, S. (2002). Getting it right the second time. Harvard Business Review: 62–69 [Google Scholar]
  33. Winter, S.G. and Szulanski, G. (2001). Replication as strategy. Organization Science, 12(6): 730–743, http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc.12.6.730.10084 [Google Scholar]
  34. Winter, S.G. and Szulanski, G. (2002). Replication of Organizational Routines: Conceptualizing the Exploitation of Knowledge Assets. In: C.W. Choo and N. Bontis (eds.), The strategic management of intellectual capital and organizational knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [Google Scholar]
  35. Winter, S.G., Szulanski, G., Ringov, D., Jensen, R.J. (2012). Reproducing Knowledge: Inaccurate Replication and Failure in Franchise Organizations. Organization Science, 23(5): 672–685, http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc.1110.0663 [Google Scholar]
  36. Zander, U. and Kogut, B. (1995), Knowledge and the speed of the transfer and imitation of organizational capabilities: An empirical test. Organization Science, 6(1): 76–92, http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc.6.1.76 [Google Scholar]
  37. Zollo, M. and Winter, S.G. (2002). Deliberate learning and the evolution of dynamic Capabilities, Organization Science, 13: 339–352, http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc.13.3.339.2780 [Google Scholar]
  38. Yan-Liang, C. and Chuang, G. (2014), Study on Replication of Routines in Organizations Based on Organization Ambidexterity Competence. In 2014 International Conference on Economic Management and Trade Cooperation (EMTC 2014). Atlantis Press, http://dx.doi.org/10.2991/emtc-14.2014.34 [Google Scholar]

Kompletne metadane

Cytowanie zasobu

APA style

Kandora, Marcin (2018). Kandora, M. . (2018). Managing Reverse Knowledge Flows in Routine ReplicationPrograms: The Case of Global Manufacturing ERP Template Rollout. Central European Management Journal, 26(2), 47-75. https://doi.org/10.7206/jmba.ce.2450-7814.228 (Original work published 2018)

MLA style

Kandora, Marcin. Kandora, M. . „Managing Reverse Knowledge Flows In Routine Replicationprograms: The Case Of Global Manufacturing Erp Template Rollout”. 2018. Central European Management Journal, t. 26, nr 2, 2018, ss. 47-75.

Chicago style

Kandora, Marcin. Kandora, Marcin . „Managing Reverse Knowledge Flows In Routine Replicationprograms: The Case Of Global Manufacturing Erp Template Rollout”. Central European Management Journal, Central European Management Journal, 26, nr 2 (2018): 47-75. doi:10.7206/jmba.ce.2450-7814.228.