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Managing communities and managing knowledge: strategic decision making and store network investment within retail multinationals

Wood, SM and Reynolds, J (2012) Managing communities and managing knowledge: strategic decision making and store network investment within retail multinationals Journal of Economic Geography, 12 (2). 539 - 565. ISSN 1468-2702

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Abstract

The manner in which knowledge is spatially generated, reproduced and diffused is of interest to students of economic geography and business management alike. This paper seeks to contribute to these debates by drawing on the results of a year-long study with analysts working in location-planning departments of multinational retailers to determine: a) how different types of knowledge are mediated within organisational contexts to inform store development; and b) the extent to which analysis can be successfully formalised into “best practice”. We find that while quantitative models of sales forecasting have become established, analysis on a dayto- day basis sees judgements made by analyst “communities” without perfect data, as experience and intuitive insights contribute to corporate decision-making. Furthermore, a number of communities-of-practice across the retail firm, consisting of actors with different backgrounds and agendas, contribute to outcomes. Understanding the power relations embedded within (and across) these communities is essential to conceptualise the store expansion process.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Economic Geography following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version, Journal of Economic Geography 2012, 12(2), 539-565 is available online at http://joeg.oxfordjournals.org/content/12/2/539
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Economics and Law > Surrey Business School
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2012 13:11
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2013 19:12
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/209753

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