Knowledge and Technology Transfer: Levels and Key Factors

Most current literature on knowledge and technology transfer (Appropriability Model, Dissemination Model, and Knowledge Utilization Model), describe the process of transfer in details, but has limitation in terms of their application in contemporary high-tech industries since most studies have not provided plausible explanation on levels and factors affecting transfer of knowledge and/or technology. To overcome these limitations, the four levels of knowledge and technology transfer are suggested: Knowledge and Technology Creation (Level I), Sharing (Level II), Implementation (Level III), and Commercialization (Level IV). Comprehensive literature identifies sixteen variables affecting the process and results of knowledge and tec hnology transfer. The survey results show four key factors in knowledge and technology transfer: Communication, Distance, Equivocality, and Motivation. Communication refers to the degree to which a medium is able to efficiently and accurately conveys task-relevant information and media while distance involves both physical and cultural proximity. Equivocality refers to the degree of concreteness of knowledge and technology to be transferred while motivation involves incentives for and the recognition of the importance of knowledge and technology transfer activities. Further analysis shows that there are four distinctive clusters and they show very contrasting characteristics in terms of four key factors. The careful mapping of the four clusters on the four key factors show very informative knowledge and technology transfer patterns, the Knowledge and Technology Transfer Grid. Finally, actions to increase communication interactivity and motivation, and to reduce cultural distance and equivocality are suggested. Presented at the 4th International Conference on Technology Policy and Innovation (ICTPI) in Curitiba, Brazil.