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Networks, knowledge, and knowledge workers’ mobility: evidence from the National Basketball Association

Mahmoud Ibrahim Fallatah (Department of Business Administration, College of Business, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 13 November 2020

Issue publication date: 21 June 2021




Building on network theory, this study aims to examine how network resources and network knowledge utilization influence mobility within networks of knowledge workers. Specifically, it examines how the availability of resources in a network and knowledge utilization, in a period impacts the structure of the focal network in the following period.


The study uses data from the National Basketball Association to depict the mobility of knowledge workers in a network. Because of the nature of the dependent variable, the study used a conditional fixed-effects quasi-maximum-likelihood Poisson regression as an analytical methodology.


The study finds that network resources are partially significant in predicting knowledge workers’ mobility and that knowledge utilization of networks of knowledge workers in one period negatively affects networks’ structure in the following period.


The study advances our understanding of the knowledge workers’ mobility phenomenon by examining network-level factors that influence the mobility of knowledge workers. It addresses the issue from a different theoretical perspective that is rarely used in studies of knowledge workers, which mostly draw from the traditional human resource literature. Additionally, it contributes to the emerging literature of network dynamics by studying factors that affect network changes. The study also responds to the calls that advocate using sports data to examine organizational phenomena.



The author would like to thank Al-Muallem Mohammed Bin Ladin Chair for Creativity and Entrepreneurship and the Deanship of Scientific Research at Umm Al-Qura University for the continuous support. This work was supported financially by the chair (Grant number: DSR-UQU-BLIE-009).


Fallatah, M.I. (2021), "Networks, knowledge, and knowledge workers’ mobility: evidence from the National Basketball Association", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 25 No. 5, pp. 1387-1405.



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