The work that this thesis is a result of has the ambition to suggest a model forknowledge transfer to small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs). The knowledge in focus here is competitive production methods such as: leanproduction, six sigma, continuous improvement, total quality management ortotal productivity maintenance.To invest in research in the SMEs, that often are the larger company’ssuppliers, gives effects in the entire supply chain. Another point of view is thatbigger companies are often divided into smaller sub-units that in many casesare more or less autonomous and have, in a sense, SME characteristics.There are some main problems that are identified:
• The relation between the numbers of SMEs compared to the number ofknowledge transfer teachers regarding newly developed methods is togreat.
• In many cases the methods need to be adjusted to fit SMEs regardingthe difference to larger companies.
• “The Learning Paradox”, i.e. that the companies need to know aboutexisting methods and their potentials before they can ask forknowledge about them.
• “The Swedish Paradox”, i.e. that little effect comes out from theresearch conducted in Sweden and the research and transfer processesmust be more effective.• There is also a lack of understanding regarding the importance ofSMEs and the need for supporting activities in their companydevelopment activities.
• The competition is becoming harder because many companies learn touse different production methods more systematically to obtaincompetitive advantages.
The overall aim with the work presented in this thesis is to create improvedconditions and understanding regarding knowledge transfer of competitivemanufacturing methods to Swedish SMEs. The objective with this thesis is to suggest a knowledge transfer model that issuitable to the current problem description and is also built on state-of-the artknowledge regarding knowledge transfer.A literature review with the objective to seek current knowledge of knowledgemanagement has been carried out. The process of knowledge creation ofcompetitive production methods and transfer to SMEs cover many researchfields. The width of the area for this thesis requires a multidisciplinaryapproach were the knowledge transfer process has been illuminated withindifferent topics.The different methods have different abilities to support knowledge ortechnology transfer. The different factors have not been weighted in thisanalysis but imply that networks, e-learning, the IVF model, publications andcourses are more effective ways for knowledge transfer to SMEs.To be able to perform an effective knowledge transfer different activities andknowledge needs to be connected into a system or in a context. Once theknowledge is created it is transferable to companies. The DCT-model is arepeatable systematic approach that has three steps: 1) Dissemination, 2)Clustering, and 3) Transfer.There are still activities to do before the model is both valid and verified (ifnow the model is a solution to the problem). The following activities andquestions are planned to be done in the doctoral work:
• The problem description in this thesis must be validated and verified.
• Does the DCT-model need to be further developed regarding eventualchanges in the problem description?
• What type of method shall be used in order to verify the DCT-model?This will be one of the major research questions in the doctoral work.
• How does the DCT-model work? And: How effective is it?
Stockholm: KTH , 2005. , x,106 p.
Business studies, knowledge transfer, technology transfer, SME(s), methods, tools, portfolio management