Knowledge Transfer ‘Mapalus’ in An Eris Village, Indonesia


In this article, the authors present an examination of Mapalus, a traditional management related to knowledge transfer deeply embedded in the lives of families in Minahasa, Indonesia. The main goal of this study is to detail the extent to which knowledge transfer between generations (known as Mapalus) has shifted from the noble meaning of Mapalus. Data were collected using direct observations and informal in-depth interviews. After the process of collecting data, the data were analyzed and validated using triangulation. The major research location was Eris Village, Minahasa. Eris Village is one of the areas in Minahasa known for its agricultural products. The research was conducted in six-months period. While Mapalus does not in principle involve monetary exchanges, the current practice of Mapalus shows that it does involve monetary exchanges. It is argued to have been facilitated by parents’ expectation of their children to work in the city rather than continue the practice of Mapalus. Considering that Mapalus is theorized to improve entrepreneurial activities in the area, implications for entrepreneurship and economic development are discussed.



Keywords: agriculture, entrepreneurship, knowledge transfer, Mapalus

[1] Aldrich, H. E. and Kim, P. H. (2007). A life course perspective on occupational inheritance: Self-employed parents and their children, in M. Ruef and Lounsbury (eds.) Research in the Sociology of Organizations, pp. 33–82. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

[2] Ayyagari, M., Beck, T., and Demirgüç-Kunt, A. (2004). Small and Medium Enterprises across the Globe (World Bank Working Paper).

[3] Barney, J. B. (2007). Gaining and Sustaining Competitive Advantage (third edition). New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

[4] Chung Liu, W. and Ling Fang, C. (2010). The effect of different motivation factors on knowledge-sharing willingness and behavior. Social Behavior and Personality, vol. 38, pp. 753–758.

[5] Cooper, D. R. and Schindler, P. S. (2010). Business Research Methods (tenth edition). Singapore: McGraw-Hill.

[6] Covin, J. G. and Miles, M. P. (1999). Corporate Entrepreneurship and the pursuit of competitive advantage. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, vol. 23, pp. 105–120.

[7] Dalkir, K. (2005). Knowledge Management in Theory and Practice. Burlington, MA: Oxford, UK.

[8] Davenport, T. H. and Prusak, L. (1998). Working Knowledge: How Organizations Manage What They Know. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

[9] Du Plessis, M. (2007). The role of knowledge management in innovation. Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 11, pp. 20–29.

[10] Frappaolo, C. (2006). Knowledge Management. England: Capstone Publishing Ltd.

[11] Gorelick, C., Milton, N., and Apri, K. (2004). Performance Through Learning: Knowledge Management in Practice. USA: Elsevier.

[12] Grant, R. M. (1996.) Toward a knowledge-based theory of the firm. Strategic Management Journal, vol. 17, pp. 109–122.

[13] Hamilton, E. (2011). Entrepreneurial learning in family business: A situated learning perspective. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 8–26.

[14] Hayton, J. C., George, G., and Zahra, S. A. (2002). National culture and entrepreneurship: A review of behavioral research. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. vol. 26, no. 4, pp. 33–52.

[15] Hill, R. P. and Stamey, M. (1990). The homeless in America: An examination of Possessions and Consumption behaviour. Journal of Consumer Research, vol. 17, pp. 303–321.

[16] Indarti, N. (2010). The Effect of Knowledge Stickiness and Interaction on Absorptive Capacity: Evidence from furniture and software Small and Medium Enterprises in Indonesia. Thesis, Groningen: University of Groningen.

[17] Inger, K. L. (October 26–27, 2006). Adopting a Comprehensive Strategy for Entrepreneurship Education. Proceeding of Entrepreneurship Education in Europe: Fostering Entrepreneurial Mindsets through Education and Learning, Oslo.

[18] Ingrid, P. and Yoshie, K. (2008). The Contribution of Early Childhood Education to a Sustainable Society. Paris: UNESCO.

[19] Johannessen, J. A., Olsen, B., and Lumpkin, G. T. (2001). Innovation as newness: What is new, how new, and new to whom? European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 4, pp. 20–31.

[20] Kamasak, R., and Bulutlar, F. (2010). The influence of knowledge sharing on innovation. European Business Review, vol. 22, pp. 306–317.

[21] Krueger, N. F., Reilly, M. D., and Carsrud, A. L. (2000). Competing models of entrepreneurial intentions. Journal of Business Venturing, vol. 15, no. 5–6, pp. 411– 432.

[22] Lam, A. and Lambermont-Ford. (2010). Knowledge sharing in organizational contexts: A motivation-based perspective. Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 14, pp. 51– 66.

[23] Lin, H. (2007). Knowledge sharing and firm innovation capability: An empirical study. Journal of Manpower, vol. 28, pp. 315–332.

[24] Ma, H. and Tan, J. (2006). Key components and implications of entrepreneurship: A 4- P framework. Journal of Business Venturing, vol. 21, no. 5, pp. 704–725.

[25] Nonaka, I. and Takeuchi, H. (1995). The Knowledge-creating Company: How Japanese Companies Create the Dynamics of Innovation. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

[26] Nonaka, I., Von Krogh, G., and Voelpel, S. (2006). Organizational knowledge creation theory: evolutionary paths and future advances. Organization Studies, vol. 27, pp. 179–208.

[27] Pirich, A., Knuckey, S., and Campbell, J. (2001). An interface between entrepreneurship and innovation: New Zealand SMEs perspective. DRUID Nelson and Winter Conference.

[28] Rauch, A. and Frese, M. (2007). Let’s put the person back into entrepreneurship research: A meta-analysis on the relationship between business owners’ personality traits, business creation, and success. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 353–385.

[29] Szulanski, G. (1996). Exploring internal stickiness: Impediments to the transfer of best practice within the firm. Strategic Management Journal, vol. 17, pp. 27–43.

[30] Tarigan, H. (2005). Kelembagaan ketenagakerjaan mapalus pada masyarakat Minahasa (Institutional Mapalus Worker at Minahasa Society). Indonesian Center for Agricultural Socio Economics and Policy Studies (ICASEPS Working Paper), p. 80.

[31] Tidd, J. and Bessant, K. J. (2005). Managing Innovation: Integrating Technological, Market and Organizational Change. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.

[32] Turang, J. (1983). Mapalus di Minahasa (Mapalus at Minahasa), Posko Operasi Mandiri (Mapalus at Minahasa). Daerah Tingkat II Kabupaten Minahasa. Tomohon.

[33] Van den Hooff, B. and de Ridder, J. A. (2004). Knowledge sharing in context: The influence of organizational commitment, communication climate and CMC use on knowledge sharing. Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 8, pp. 117–130.

[34] Wiklund, J. and Shepherd, D. (2003). Knowledge-based resources, entrepreneurial orientation and the performance of small and medium-sized businesses. Strategic Management Journal, vol. 24, pp. 1307–1314.

[35] Wuryaningrat. (2013). Knowledge sharing, absorptive capacity, and innovation capabilities. Gadjahmada International Journal of Business, vol. 15, p. 1.