Building competitiveness through effective governance of national-expatriate knowledge transfer and development of sustainable human capital

Source of Publication

International Journal of Organizational Analysis


© Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Purpose - This study aims to develop a theoretical model that specifies the most important factors hypothesised to facilitate reciprocal knowledge transfer between nationals and non-nationals in the context of workplace quotas. Design/methodology/approach - Expatriate labour is viewed as a form of contingent employment that provides firms with ready access to experienced and specialised knowledge. We argue that in a knowledge economy, the successful use of workplace quotas for nationals depends on effective management of both nationals and non-nationals. By drawing on scholarly contributions in the areas of strategic management, agency theory, knowledge management and absorptive capacity, this paper consolidates extant knowledge and proposes a new framework aimed at developing a more integrated agenda for future research. Findings - Three broad categories are posited as strategic enablers to effective knowledge management. First, senior leadership has a direct role in developing appropriate policies, promoting transparency and fostering a culture of trust and an indirect role through the establishment of incentives. Second, the influence of incentives on both knowledge management and process improvement is addressed. Third, the characteristics of each group with regard to qualifications, motivation and receptivity are discussed. Optimally, these factors work in concert to build competencies that ultimately satisfy customers and meet organisational goals. Originality/value - There is a gap in scholarly research that explicitly links important organisational and management concepts to the study of expatriate-national interactions. This article contributes to understanding how policy makers and leaders can strengthen the transformative forces that will drive successful development of human capital.

Document Type


First Page


Last Page


Publication Date