The Impact of Trust on the Choice of Knowledge Transfer Mechanisms in Clusters
Network Governance: Alliances, Cooperatives and Franchise Chains, Ehrmann, Th., Windsperger, J., Cliquet, G., Hendrikse, G. (Eds.), Springer Verlag: Berlin Heidelberg, 2013, p. 73 – 85.
16 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2015
Date Written: January 6, 2012
This study examines the impact of trust on the use of knowledge transfer mechanisms of cluster firms by deriving hypotheses from a relational governance perspective. Specifically, we analyse the influence of trust on the use of face-to-face knowledge transfer mechanisms in cluster relationships. Based on the relational view of governance, it is argued that trust may influence the choice of knowledge transfer mechanisms of the cluster companies in the following way: First, if trust reduces relational risk, an increase in trust reduces the firms’ use of face-to-face knowledge transfer mechanisms. Second, if trust increases knowledge sharing between the cluster partners, it increases the firms’ use of face-to-face knowledge transfer mechanisms. The hypotheses are tested by using data from 118 companies in the Italian textile and fashion sectors. Our data from the Italian textile and fashion sector supports the hypothesis that experience-based trust increases knowledge sharing between the cluster partners by increasing the use of face-to-face knowledge transfer mechanisms. It also supports the knowledge-based hypothesis that tacitness influences the choice of knowledge transfer mechanisms. The paper extends the knowledge-based view of the choice of knowledge transfer mechanisms by showing that trust is an additional determinant of the knowledge transfer strategy.
Keywords: Knowledge transfer mechanisms, trust, relational view of governance, cluster relationships
JEL Classification: D21, D23, D81, D82
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation