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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/D505631/1
Title: Understanding and Assessing the Concept of Knowledge Leakage: A Closing the Gap, Crossing the Levels Ideas Factory Project
Principal Investigator: Mynors, Professor D
Other Investigators:
Walsh, Dr K Chan, Professor P Kaplinsky, Professor R
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Sch of Engineering and Design
Organisation: Brunel University London
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 28 November 2005 Ends: 27 November 2006 Value (£): 207,211
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Manufact. Business Strategy Manufact. Enterprise Ops& Mgmt
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
This project arises from an EPSRC Ideas factory convened in January 2005 to examine the nature and origins of the UK productivity gap in conjunction with the Advanced Institute of Management (AIM). This initiative brought together researchers from a wide range of disciplines. This proposal combines expertise at the macro-economic level with detailed company and sector level insights from the engineering and construction participants to develop the concept of knowledge leakage and investigate its impact on UK productivity.Over the last three decades, considerable changes in manufacturing philosophies have occurred. The changes have included the outsourcing of non-core activities, the introduction of lean, the increasing requirements on lower tier companies to provide integrated solutions rather than mere components, and the movement of low-value adding activities to low cost base regions. In these and other control-relinquishing activities, including staff retirement and other experience-loss mechanisms, knowledge leaks away from the origin. A lot has been written about knowledge management with regards the classification of knowledge, the mechanisms for capturing knowledge via expert systems and case-based reasoning among others. However, there is a lack of a holistic view on the costs and benefits of a range of knowledge-leakage activities and the risks and/or advantages of knowledge leaking away from the source or controlling such leaks.The generally accepted view that UK companies must move up the value adding chain will inevitably mean the leaking of knowledge will occur. In some cases (as in effective supply chain management), the flow of knowledge from the enterprise will significantly increase the UK's value-adding productivity. However, in other cases it may damage enterprise productivity, particularly over time. This holistic approach towards knowledge-leakages, taking account of its positive and negative impacts, over time and with regard to a range of different types of knowledge leakage has been neglected. The gap is particularly acute in relation to the capacity of firm-management to see the issue in its entirety. In the worst case, companies may lose their competitive advantage with damaging effects on UK productivity.
Key Findings
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.brunel.ac.uk