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Sourcing knowledge for innovation: knowledge reuse and creation in project teams

Anis Khedhaouria (Department of Technology Innovation Management, Montpellier Business School, Montpellier, France)
Arshad Jamal (Department of Information Technology, QA Business School at University of Ulster, London, UK)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 14 September 2015




The purpose of this paper is to investigate motivations of team members to source knowledge and how the sourced knowledge increases their reuse and creation outcomes.


A model based on knowledge sourcing perspective is proposed and tested to link knowledge sourcing methods in teams to their performance outcomes. The hypotheses are tested on data collected from a survey of 341 project teams.


The findings show the critical role of team members’ learning orientation in increasing knowledge sourcing, reuse and creation; group knowledge sourcing and repositories are more appropriate to increase knowledge reuse; the Internet is more effective to increase knowledge creation; and knowledge reuse increases knowledge creation among team members with a strong learning orientation.

Research limitations/implications

Further studies can replicate the model presented in this paper and introduce group characteristics to improve its explanatory power. Also, use of self-reported measures in data collection may lead to biases; future research should collate different measures longitudinally or use separate primary and secondary observations.

Practical implications

Team leaders should enhance team effectiveness by ensuring diversity of knowledge and skills. Current research emphasizes that team leaders can integrate a crowdsourcing or “users as co-creators” approach to increase knowledge creation by team members. Team members’ learning orientation can be increased by promoting a climate that encourages open discussion of problems, mistakes and errors.


This research highlights that knowledge sourcing methods produce different performance outcomes regarding knowledge reuse and creation. These insights can be useful to team leaders and researchers to better understand what motivates team members to source knowledge and how it increases their reuse and creation outcomes.



Khedhaouria, A. and Jamal, A. (2015), "Sourcing knowledge for innovation: knowledge reuse and creation in project teams", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 19 No. 5, pp. 932-948.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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