UCL School of Management is delighted to welcome Enno Siemsen, Wisconsin, to host a research seminar discussing ‘Production Process Moves: Template Use and Barriers to Knowledge Transfer’
We use a behavioral experiment to examine whether the use of templates facilitates or hinders a faster production ramp-up after a process move. If the environment in which a template is applied closely resembles the environment in which the template was developed, template use promotes knowledge transfer, resulting in increased performance while ramping up the process. However, when the environments at the origin and destination of the template differ, these benefits do not occur. We further show that making the template too rigid, i.e., not allowing any changes to the template after a production start, decreases its performance benefits. These findings help characterize when and how the encoding of existing knowledge through a template is a worthwhile investment of time and resources to facilitate a production process move. We further examine whether functional and cultural diversity between source and recipient teams act as barriers to knowledge transfer during the move, and what tactics managers can employ to overcome these barriers.