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School of Business | Department of Marketing | Marketing | 2016
Thesis number: 14719
The role of internal factors in knowledge transfer: case study of a Finnish start-up
Author: Girs, Mirella
Title: The role of internal factors in knowledge transfer: case study of a Finnish start-up
Year: 2016  Language: eng
Department: Department of Marketing
Academic subject: Marketing
Index terms: markkinointi; tietämyksenhallinta; oppiva organisaatio; yritykset; kasvu
Pages: 90
Key terms: knowledge transfer; internal factors; organizational factors; individual factors; technological factors; knowledge factors; knowledge sources; knowledge conversion; relationships; start-up; knowledge management; organizational learning
Purpose - This qualitative case study examined the roles of internal factors (organizational, individual, technological and knowledge factors) in knowledge transfer in a context of a mobile wellness solutions start-up in Finland. In order to answer the main research question the role of internal factors in the use of knowledge sources, in knowledge conversion and in relationships were studied.

Design/Methodology/approach - Ten (10) semi-structured interviews were made that followed the themes of the framework that was constructed for this study. Thematic coding was used to analyze the empirical data.

Findings - The findings showed that the organizational and individual factors appeared to have the biggest roles in the ways in which knowledge sources were used, how knowledge was conversed and also in the relationships inside the start-up and between the start-up and it's B-2-B -customer - and thus in knowledge transfer. The roles of the technological and knowledge factors were seen also relevant in the use of knowledge sources and in knowledge conversion, but they did not seem to have a direct role in relationships. Nevertheless, it was recognized that especially the role of knowledge factors in relationships was indirect: The ways knowledge was conversed inside the start-up had a role in the relationships between companies. The findings suggest that the start-up could be able to transfer knowledge better by using more knowledge sources, by conversing knowledge with more diverse means, by building an organizational culture that recognizes the importance on knowledge and by building closer relationships between the companies.

Theoretical contribution - The study forms a holistic understanding about the roles of internal factors in knowledge transfer in a start-up context. It fills in the gap of paucity of studies of knowledge management and organizational learning in the context of start-ups by offering new understanding and new insights to the theories.
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