The managerial issues related to transferring shop floor knowledge in manufacturing relocation

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the specific practices of management in the dispatching unit and to identify mechanisms for supporting transfer of shop floor knowledge embedded in operating manufacturing equipment.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper applies an inductive and a case study approach for exploring three empirical cases that represent different manufacturing facility relocation processes and differences in the applied managerial practices.
Findings – The paper identifies two important gaps in international production literature when firms relocate equipment to other sites; a time gap (from dismantling to re-assembly of production facilities) and a space gap (from the current to the new site abroad). These gaps are important for understanding
why relocation processes are difficult and what management can do to facilitate such processes.
Practical implications – The paper identifies four issues that management faces in the dispatching context when relocating manufacturing facilities.
Originality/value – The paper gives new insights to a limited literature of shop floor knowledge transfer when relocating manufacturing facilities.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)1389-1416
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

The paper is written with an equal distribution of work in developing the paper, the line of arguments, and in performing the analyses. The paper is based on data collected during the PhD-studies of Erik Skov Madsen.


  • Knowledge transfer
  • Shop floor
  • Global operations management
  • Manufacturing relocation
  • Plant location
  • knowledge transfer


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