Knowledge barriers, knowledge transfer, and innovation competitive advantage in healthcare settings

Margaret L. Sheng, Shen Yao Chang, Thompson Teo, Yuh Feng Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this paper is to examine the moderating role of information communication technology (ICT) competencies in enhancing knowledge transfer and mitigating the effects of two key knowledge barriers, namely knowledge stickiness and knowledge ambiguity, thereby increasing the firm's innovation competitive advantage. The study is carried out in the context of the healthcare industry in Taiwan. A total of 160 questionnaires were distributed to hospitals and 112 usable responses were received, representing a response rate of 70 percent. Hierarchical regression analysis was used to analyze the data. The results show that ICT competencies do enhance knowledge transfer inside hospitals. Although knowledge stickiness and knowledge ambiguity have negative effects on knowledge transfer, the negative effects can be moderated by ICT competencies (defined in terms of competencies in computerassisted instruction, interactive videoconferencing, and handheld technology). Among the three ICT competencies, computerassisted instruction and handheld technology have the largest and smallest effects on the relationship between knowledge barriers and knowledge transfer. The results also allow decision makers for forwardlooking allocation of ICT competencies. The study presents a valid model that comprises the antecedents, moderators (three specific types of ICT competencies), and consequences of knowledge transfer for innovation competitive advantage of healthcare organizations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-478
Number of pages18
JournalManagement Decision
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 22 2013


  • Health care
  • Healthcare organization
  • Information communication technology competency
  • Innovation
  • Innovation competitive advantage
  • Knowledge ambiguity
  • Knowledge stickiness
  • Knowledge transfer
  • Taiwan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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