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Knowledge management, organisational learning and memory in UK retail network planning

Wood, SM and Reynolds, J (2013) Knowledge management, organisational learning and memory in UK retail network planning Service Industries Journal, 33 (2). pp. 150-170.

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The forecasting of sales from potential store development opportunities is typically supported by quantitative modelling techniques which vary in their sophistication and practical application between retail firms. While previous research suggests analysts reach outcomes by blending modelled knowledge with intuition and experience, how this occurs in practice is only partially understood. By adopting a qualitative methodology involving interviews with experts, this paper makes an incremental contribution to the literature by detailing how tacit knowledge is synthesised with modelled, codified knowledge to affect the decision-making of senior management in UK-based retail firms. Analysis can also extend to post-opening reviews that offer the opportunity to improve local marketing and product ranging, and from which key lessons can be drawn for subsequent forecasting. Efforts are made by many large retailers to retain expertise and develop institutional ‘memory’ by codifying tacit knowledge, though these processes often rely upon the expertise embedded within broader intra- and extra- firm social networks. Success therefore appears to comprise structured but flexible forecasting routines alongside a focus on learning, continuity and communication within analyst teams.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Surrey Business School
Authors :
Date : 1 January 2013
Identification Number : 10.1080/02642069.2011.614340
Related URLs :
Additional Information : This is an electronic version of an article published in The Service Industries Journal, 2011. The Service Industries Journal is available online at:
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 Aug 2012 13:45
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 14:25

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