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Temporal dimensions of knowledge exchanges in horizontal knowledge networks

Moheeb Abualqumboz (Salford Business School, University of Salford, Manchester, UK)
Paul W. Chan (Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Technische Universiteit Delft, Delft, The Netherlands)
David Bamford (Business School, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
Iain Reid (Business School, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 23 October 2020

Issue publication date: 24 May 2021




This study aims to examine reciprocal exchanges in knowledge networks using temporal differentiation of knowledge exchanges. To date, research on horizontal knowledge networks rather overlooks the temporal perspective, which could explain the dynamics of exchange in those networks.


The paper reports on a study of four horizontal knowledge networks in the UK over a period of 18 months.


The findings integrate three temporal dimensions of timescale, timeliness and time modalities. The dimensions have implications for the way knowledge is exchanged (or not), which can in turn sustain or stymie productive knowledge exchange in horizontal knowledge networks.

Research limitations/implications

The study encourages researchers to attend to the micro-processes of knowledge exchanges through the integrative framework of temporalities. While this study examined horizontal networks, future research can be extended to analysing temporalities in other types of networks.

Practical implications

It seeks to inspire practitioners to appreciate how the impacts of knowledge networks play out in/over time, and how more effective coopetitive knowledge-sharing environments can be created and sustained by taking differentiated time structures into account.


This study contributes to the knowledge management literature by providing a temporal perspective to understand reciprocal knowledge exchanges in horizontal knowledge networks.



This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors. The authors would like to thank the editors and two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments. We also gratefully acknowledge the feedback received on earlier versions of this paper from Professor Mike Bresnen and participants at the EGOS Colloquium 2014 Sub-Theme 31 on the Network Organization in Rotterdam.


Abualqumboz, M., Chan, P.W., Bamford, D. and Reid, I. (2021), "Temporal dimensions of knowledge exchanges in horizontal knowledge networks", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 25 No. 4, pp. 899-919.



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