This paper outlines the findings of a longitudinal study of knowledge transfer processes within a hotel chain in Iran. The company was of interest because it had adopted a deliberate strategy of bringing in new management ideas from other countries. We focused on their adoption of new HRM practices. Key findings were that cultural and religious factors influenced their choices of which countries to adopt as models for their practice, the relative lack of translation of the chosen practices, difficulties in transferring practices from HQ to the hotels in the chain and the important influence of culture on the transfer process. These findings suggest that the biggest barrier to knowledge transfer was the organisation's absorptive capacity.