This paper seeks to advance the study of knowledge boundary spanning by approaching spanning as a process that involves four spanning mechanisms.
Building on the insights from practice‐based view of knowledge and knowledge management literature more generally, the authors formalize and articulate two spanning mechanisms (boundary practice and boundary discourse), in addition to two other previously established spanning mechanisms (boundary object and boundary spanner).
The paper formalizes two further spanning mechanisms and suggests an integrative framework for examining the mutual and compounding effect between the four spanning mechanisms. Building on the suggested framework, the process of spanning is analysed as a time‐based combination of various mechanisms which evolve over time. The framework opens new windows to look at the projective and emergent mode of spanning mechanisms as a duality, rather than a dualism.
Researchers are freed to explore the deployment order of the spanning mechanisms and the conflicting or synergistic effects. Practitioners would benefit from tracing successful spanning processes for replicating in similar contexts to advance collaboration efforts.
Boundary practice and boundary discourse are introduced as well as synthesizing the mechanisms into a coherent framework. Viewing boundary spanning as a process that includes dynamic combination of four spanning mechanisms is a particularly novel insight that can stimulate future research avenues.
Hawkins, M. and Rezazade M., M. (2012), "Knowledge boundary spanning process: synthesizing four spanning mechanisms", Management Decision, Vol. 50 No. 10, pp. 1800-1815. https://doi.org/10.1108/00251741211279611Download as .RIS
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