Forming mechanisms and structures of a knowledge transfer network: theoretical and simulation research

Xiaoguang Wang (Based in the School of Information Management, Wuhan University, Wuhan, People's Republic of China)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Publication date: 29 March 2013



This paper aims to analyze the exchange and reciprocal mechanism behind individual knowledge transfer activities as well as their impact on the individual knowledge transfer networks.


The author conducted theoretical and simulation research. Agent‐based technology is employed to construct an agent dynamics agent‐based model that simulates and explains how an individual initiates the evolution of a knowledge network through knowledge transfer activities.


The results demonstrate that the two mechanisms can improve the knowledge levels of the network members; the exchange mechanism is more efficient as it can improve the values of both sides. Individual knowledge transfer networks evolve from random networks to small‐world networks.

Research limitations/implications

The research model must include more variables. Computer simulation research will be cross‐confirmed by other research methods in future studies.

Practical implications

Individual knowledge transfer networks form and subsequently evolve as a result of social interaction. The research findings will contribute to the policy making for knowledge management in organizations.


Little has been published about the dynamics of individual knowledge transfer networks. The author believes that the paper is the first to analyze the internal mechanisms behind individual knowledge transfer activities and test them with agent‐based technologies.



Wang, X. (2013), "Forming mechanisms and structures of a knowledge transfer network: theoretical and simulation research", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 278-289.

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