Unveiling the black box of IJV innovativeness: the role of explicit and tacit knowledge transfer

Chansoo Park, Pervez N. Ghauri, Jeoung Yul Lee*, Ismael Golmohammadi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper explores the relationships between the tacit knowledge, explicit knowledge, and innovativeness of International Joint Ventures (IJVs) based on knowledge-based and learning theories. In the context of IJVs, the relationship between knowledge (explicit and tacit) transfer and innovativeness is still complicated by many challenges. We conducted a survey of 199 IJVs in South Korea. A structural equation model was used to test hypothesized linkages. Our results confirm that explicit knowledge transfer is positively associated with innovativeness. The explicit knowledge transferred from the foreign parent to the IJV has a stronger impact on innovativeness than tacit knowledge does. Additionally, tacit knowledge proved to not exhibit a direct impact on the innovativeness of IJVs. The results provide strong support for the mediating role of explicit knowledge in the relationship between tacit knowledge transfer and an IJV's innovativeness. Finally, the strength of the relationship between only explicit knowledge transferred from a parent firm and an IJV's innovativeness increases with international work experience.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100956
JournalJournal of International Management
Early online date28 May 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 May 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research project was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (Grant No. 435-2020-0457 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Inc.


  • Explicit knowledge
  • Innovativeness
  • International Joint Venture (IJV)
  • International work experience
  • South Korea
  • Tacit knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Finance
  • Strategy and Management


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