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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien


Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien
Jochi Kioizaka Bldg. 2F
7-1 Kioicho, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo 102-0094, Japan
Tel: 03 – 3222 5198, Fax: 03 – 3222 5420


Registration Info

The presentation will be given in English. The DIJ Business & Economics Study Group is intended as a forum for young scholars and Ph.D. candidates in the field of Business and Economics Studies. Everybody is welcome to attend, but kindly asked to register with

"Absorptive Capacity" Revisited: Cases from Cross-Border Knowledge Transfer within Japanese Multinationals

March 16, 2009 / 6.30 P.M.

Toshikazu Takahashi, PhD Candidate at Rikkyo University, Tokyo

This study examines the determinants and difficulties of knowledge transfer
in multinational companies. Despite the fact that different cultural and
social contexts have a major impact on the transfer of knowledge, many
previous studies “give the impression that knowledge management operates in
a kind of unitary vacuum, in which diversity in terms of language, cultural
and ethnic background, gender and professional affiliation are compressed
into one giant independent variable” (Holden, 2002). This study focuses on
the concept of “absorptive capacity” and analyzes how it is influenced by
cultural and social context factors. It further shows the theoretical and
practical limitations of the concept and tries to expand and improve on it.
The theoretical argument is illustrated by case studies from Japanese
multinational companies. Finally, the managerial implications will be

CV: Toshikazu TAKAHASHI, PhD Candidate at Rikkyo University, Tokyo.