Knowledge management is one of the most innovative and effective tools available to companies to manage an economic and organizational ever-changing environment. The chapter is based on an empirical study starting from the classification of oil district and aims to understand how firms’ position affect knowledge transfer process within the district. We support the idea that knowledge transfer is deeply affected by firms’ contractual power as well as by their position within the district. The companies of the industrial districts have the advantage of exploiting and sharing knowledge with each other. The literature generally holds that knowledge transfer requires a sense of equality and fairness among the firms, to create conditions in which firms will share their own knowledge for joint competitive advantage. However, empirical evidence shows that the value chains are often characterized by hierarchical relations and asymmetry between the parties: this feature is particularly evident in the oil districts. For companies attempting to acquire new information, the typologies of their intercompany collaboration and their cultural relationships are crucial.
Part of the book: Current Issues in Knowledge Management