cross-border knowledge transfer; project performance; knowledge principles; knowledge templates; Bayesian estimation


Managers understand the importance of knowledge management systems for project-based work. Efforts are often made to ensure knowledge is codified and disseminated throughout the firm so employees can draw upon them to complete their projects. Unfortunately, however, such efforts often lead to stockpiles of information that remain untapped and underutilized. This study seeks to answer two questions. First, how can managers influence workers to utilize different types of codified knowledge in the first place? Second, do different types of codified knowledge have differential effects on performance? We find that increased individual experience drives the use of knowledge principles while workers that are more distant are more likely to use knowledge templates. At the same time, we find that when individuals draw upon knowledge principles it increases the customer responsiveness of their projects while the use of knowledge templates increases cost effectiveness. This suggests that project-based firms should carefully consider codifying both knowledge templates as well as knowledge principles and consider how to incentivize workers to draw upon these different forms of knowledge.

Original Publication Citation

Oldroyd, J., Morris, S., & Dotson, J. Principles or Templates? The Antecedents and Performance Effects of Cross-Border Knowledge Transfer. Strategic Management Journal, 40(13): 2191-2213.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Strategic Management Journal




Marriott School of Management



University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor

Included in

Business Commons