Tacit Knowledge Transfer in Inter-Organisational Networks
: A social network analysis of Formula 1

  • Danish Mishra

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Inter-organisational networks of businesses such as Formula 1, information management systems, pharmaceutical industries, and aerospace manufacturers face challenges in for technological development, competition, and logistics. In such businesses firms form alliances with their competitors to tackle specific projects, expand their resource base, and overcome regulatory changes. Researchers have identified these conditions as ideal for fostering explicit and tacit knowledge transfer and the network as a source of competitive advantage.This study finds that it is networked individuals with high tacit knowledge content that are source of competitive advantage in such inter-organisational networks. These networked individuals impact organisational performance and alter the competitive balance within the network. The research is situated within the context of Formula 1. The business model of Formula 1 involves trading and selling both technology and human resource with the competitors and reflects the important role played by tacit knowledge in this process. Formula 1 is an ideal context for this research as the grand prix industry is a fast clockspeed and small world ecosystem with organisations producing the same product i.e. the grand prix car. Formula 1 teams innovate and respond to external challenges such as regulation changes via movement of networked individuals. These individuals introduce novel knowledge within the organisation, and play different managerial and technical roles. This research establishes other contextual factors that affect tacit knowledge transfer in Formula 1. The role of an individual in an organisation is salient when considering the effect of that individual on team performance. Individuals in technical and managerial roles affect performance to a greater degree than drivers. Regulation changes are key drivers of technological discontinuities in Formula 1, and the movement of networked individuals plays an important role in teams’ ability to respond to these regulation changes. The research findings are particularly relevant for industries that share Formula 1’s technological and competitive context such as pharmaceutical, aerospace, and information management industries.
Date of Award21 Feb 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorSteve Cayzer (Supervisor) & Andrew Graves (Supervisor)


  • Social network analysis
  • Knowledge Management
  • Operations management
  • Strategy
  • Innovation
  • Operations research

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