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Knowledge Transfer among Cross-Functional Teams as a Continual Improvement Process

Authors: Sergio Mauricio Pérez López, Luis Rodrigo Valencia Pérez, Juan Manuel Peña Aguilar, Adelina Morita Alexander


The culture of continuous improvement in organizations is very important as it represents a source of competitive advantage. This article discusses the transfer of knowledge between companies which formed cross-functional teams and used a dynamic model for knowledge creation as a framework. In addition, the article discusses the structure of cognitive assets in companies and the concept of "stickiness" (which is defined as an obstacle to the transfer of knowledge). The purpose of this analysis is to show that an improvement in the attitude of individual members of an organization creates opportunities, and that an exchange of information and knowledge leads to generating continuous improvements in the company as a whole. This article also discusses the importance of creating the proper conditions for sharing tacit knowledge. By narrowing gaps between people, mutual trust can be created and thus contribute to an increase in sharing. The concept of adapting knowledge to new environments will be highlighted, as it is essential for companies to translate and modify information so that such information can fit the context of receiving organizations. Adaptation will ensure that the transfer process is carried out smoothly by preventing "stickiness". When developing the transfer process on cross-functional teams (as opposed to working groups), the team acquires the flexibility and responsiveness necessary to meet objectives. These types of cross-functional teams also generate synergy due to the array of different work backgrounds of their individuals. When synergy is established, a culture of continuous improvement is created.

Keywords: Knowledge transfer, continuous improvement, teamwork, cognitive assets.

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