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Immersed in a global industry consolidation process, corporate managers are witnessing, in recent years, the proliferation of inter‐organizational collaborative…
Immersed in a global industry consolidation process, corporate managers are witnessing, in recent years, the proliferation of inter‐organizational collaborative agreements, which aim to develop, manufacture and commercialize knowledge intensive products. The decision within a knowledge management (KM) framework to collaborate in knowledge sharing networks becomes a complicated issue, since such a decision needs to be made often under conditions of uncertainty and irreversibility. The present study deals with questions such as why, how, and when to be a member of a knowledge network and provides some empirical evidence about the formation of inter‐organizational networks in knowledge intensive industries.
Although collaborative research is believed to be an important means of accessing external knowledge, research on whether taking a strategic network position benefits new…
Although collaborative research is believed to be an important means of accessing external knowledge, research on whether taking a strategic network position benefits new product development (NPD) is inconclusive. This study aims to unravel the conditions under which taking a strategic position within a collaborative research network is conducive for a firm’s NPD.
Drawing on social network theory, absorptive capacity theory and knowledge recombinant studies, this study examines how strategic network positions (i.e. degree centrality and structural holes) and knowledge base cohesion (i.e. local and global cohesion) in tandem affect a firm’s NPD. A panel data set of 366 firms in the Chinese automobile sector (2002–2010) is empirically analyzed, using the panel negative binomial approach with random effects and several alternate estimation approaches.
This study reveals that, rather than the volume of a firm’s knowledge base, its cohesion determines how it absorbs and uses knowledge accrued from collaborative research for NPD. Specifically, this paper finds that centrally positioned firms have greater NPD when their knowledge bases are locally cohesive, while firms spanning structural holes have more NPD when their knowledge bases are globally cohesive.
Successfully transferring collaborative research outcomes into product innovation is difficult. This study contributes to the literature on strategic network positions and NPD. The findings advance the understanding of knowledge base cohesion’s moderating role in explaining how firms absorb and exploit external knowledge for internal innovation. The findings also have important implications for managers who wish to promote product innovation by engaging in collaborative research with external partners.
Few researchers and even fewer practitioners would deny that serendipitous events play a central role in the growth process of firms. However, most international marketing…
Few researchers and even fewer practitioners would deny that serendipitous events play a central role in the growth process of firms. However, most international marketing models ignore the role of serendipity in the opportunity discovery process. The authors provide a nuanced view on international opportunities by developing the role of serendipitous opportunities in the foreign market entry process. The authors develop a model integrating the notions of serendipity, entrepreneurial logic, experiential knowledge and network knowledge redundancy. From the study’s model, the authors condense three sets of hypotheses on the relationships among experiential knowledge and entry strategy, network knowledge redundancy, entry strategy and serendipity.
The authors confront the study’s hypotheses with data collected on-site at 168 Swedish firms covering 234 opportunities, and to test the hypotheses, the authors ran ordinary least squares (OLS) regression tests in three steps.
The results of the study’s analysis reveal that experiential knowledge and network knowledge redundancy both lead to a logic based on rigid planning and systematic search, which in turn reduces the likelihood that serendipitous opportunities will be realized in the foreign market entry process.
This is the first study that develops a measure of opportunities that are the outcome of serendipitous events. In addition, the authors integrate network and learning theories and internationalization theory by establishing antecedents to, and outcomes of, the entry strategy.
The purpose of this paper is two-fold: (1) to offer a conceptual understanding of knowledge brokering from a sociometric point-of-view; and (2) to provide an empirical…
The purpose of this paper is two-fold: (1) to offer a conceptual understanding of knowledge brokering from a sociometric point-of-view; and (2) to provide an empirical example of this conceptualization in an education context.
We use social network theory and analysis tools to explore knowledge exchange patterns among a group of teachers, instructional coaches and administrators who are collectively seeking to build increased capacity for effective mathematics instruction. We propose the concept of network activity to measure direct and indirect knowledge brokerage through the use of degree and betweenness centrality measures. Further, we propose network utility—measured by tie multiplexity—as a second key component of effective knowledge brokering.
Our findings suggest significant increases in both direct and indirect knowledge brokering activity across the network over time. Teachers, in particular, emerge as key knowledge brokers within this networked learning community. Importantly, there is also an increase in the number of resources exchanged through network relationships over time; the most active knowledge brokers in this social ecosystem are those individuals who are exchanging multiple forms of knowledge.
This study focuses on knowledge brokering as it presents itself in the relational patterns among educators within a social ecosystem. While it could be that formal organizational roles may encapsulate knowledge brokering across physical structures with an education system (e.g. between schools and central offices), these individuals are not necessarily the people who are most effectively brokering knowledge across actors within the broader social network.
This study deals with the processes of innovation in the medium technology industrial sectors. First, it illustrates the differences between the linear model of innovation…
This study deals with the processes of innovation in the medium technology industrial sectors. First, it illustrates the differences between the linear model of innovation and the systemic and cognitive model of knowledge creation. Then, it focuses on the concepts of connectivity, creativity, and speed of change, which characterize the processes of interactive learning in the industrial clusters. Finally, it illustrates a typology of regions, where problems and policy fields are different, and it indicates the guidelines of a governance of interregional knowledge and innovation networks.
Knowledge is critical for employee and firm success. We show that being perceived as prototypical organizational members is a source of prominence in knowledge exchange…
Knowledge is critical for employee and firm success. We show that being perceived as prototypical organizational members is a source of prominence in knowledge exchange that operates beyond preexisting communication or affective relationships. Self-categorization processes produce – through depersonalization – a positive attitude among the members which represents an autonomous mechanism of social attraction for knowledge exchange, while social network mechanisms are triggered by interpersonal attraction. Our findings also suggest that including perceived members’ prototypicality can avoid a potentially spurious relationship in assessing the role played by social identity and categorization theory in explaining attitude and behaviors.
We argue that a foreign-based R&D subsidiary of a multinational enterprise (MNE) can potentially source knowledge from three diverse knowledge networks, namely (i…
We argue that a foreign-based R&D subsidiary of a multinational enterprise (MNE) can potentially source knowledge from three diverse knowledge networks, namely (i) external knowledge network of the home country, (ii) external knowledge network of the host country, and (iii) internal (MNE) knowledge network. Drawing on the relative costs and benefits associated with the process of synergistic knowledge, this study examines whether a substitutive or a complementary relationship exists when two of the aforementioned networks collaborate in order to generate new knowledge at the subsidiary level. Our study’s sample is based on a survey questionnaire addressed to foreign-based R&D subsidiaries of Fortune 500 companies. We assess the existence of complementarity/substitutability using the “production function approach.” Our results indicate that a complementary relationship exists between external knowledge network of the host and the home country, as well as between external knowledge network of the host country and internal knowledge network. On the other hand, external knowledge network of the home country and internal knowledge network form a substitutive relationship. Our study offers a more comprehensive view of the diverse sources/knowledge networks that R&D subsidiaries are sourcing knowledge from when compared to existing research. We also specify and account for the costs/benefits involved in knowledge sourcing and thereby detect possible substitution/complementarity between different sources of knowledge. So far, there has been limited to nonexistent research into the diversity of knowledge networks of R&D subsidiaries and the examination of potential substitutabilities and complementarities. Hence our empirical study contributes to the development of this particular research stream.
In this essay, we argue that understanding of meaning in relation to organizational networks warrants a more prominent place in organizational theorizing, because it…
In this essay, we argue that understanding of meaning in relation to organizational networks warrants a more prominent place in organizational theorizing, because it fulfils a distinct role in the emergence and evolution of networks. Whereas prior studies have tended to address network structures or narrative structures, we suggest that organizational processes might be better understood when addressing the role of meaning and network structures simultaneously. We explain the implications of our argument in an online context, given the growing significance of digitally enabled networks on organizational sociality, and draw on examples in the context of organizational knowledge sharing to support our argument. We conclude by introducing a communication flow model to support the further development of research on organizational meaning networks.
Business networks are of critical importance to firms and essential to the internationalisation of born-global and international new venture firms. Networking literature…
Business networks are of critical importance to firms and essential to the internationalisation of born-global and international new venture firms. Networking literature focuses on what are, generally, co-operative relationships and their effects between actors, activities and resources and illustrate the importance of quality and change in the networking process. Utilising Fletcher and Harris’ (2012) framework for understanding knowledge acquisition processes in internationalisation, this study investigates the importance of direct and indirect roles played by third parties in the networking for internationalisation processes of three different firm types within the knowledge-based natural health products (NHPs) (pharmaceutical) sector in Canada. The research presented here examines nine case studies of Canadian NHP firms and reveals that they utilised all network-related internationalisation processes simultaneously to internationalise including Johanson and Mattsson’s (1988, 1994) network theory, Johanson and Vahlne’s (2003) updated the Uppsala Model and the resource-based perspective on network theory (Ruzzier et al., 2006). They networked with and extensively utilised third parties, including government bodies, trade associations, government advisors, consultants and other domestic networks with international ties, in Canada and internationally to gain technical, market and internationalisation knowledge, and direct and indirect experiential knowledge which contributed to the internationalisation process confirming the study by Fletcher and Harris (2012). In a departure from the literature, this study found that weak ties (Granovetter, 1973) developed with third parties who were new to the networks allowed the NHP firms to develop competitive advantages necessary for them to overcome the liability of outsidership in entering new international markets. The type of technical, market and internationalisation knowledge gained, its content and the direct and indirect sources of knowledge from third parties were all shown to contribute to the internationalisation process.
The study this chapter reports focuses on how network theory contributes to the understanding of the internationalization process of SMEs and measures the effect of network…
The study this chapter reports focuses on how network theory contributes to the understanding of the internationalization process of SMEs and measures the effect of network capability on performance in international trade and has three research objectives.
The first objective of the study relates to providing new insights into the international market development activities through the application of a network perspective. The chapter reviews the international business literature to ascertain the development of thought, the research gaps, and the shortcomings. This review shows that the network perspective is a useful and popular theoretical domain that researchers can use to understand international activities, particularly of small, high technology, resource-constrained firms.
The second research objective is to gain a deeper understanding of network capability. This chapter presents a model for the impact of network capability on international performance by building on the emerging literature on the dynamic capabilities view of the firm. The model conceptualizes network capability in terms of network characteristics, network operation, and network resources. Network characteristics comprise strong and weak ties (operationalized as foreign-market entry modes), relational capability, and the level of trust between partners. Network operation focuses on network initiation, network coordination, and network learning capabilities. Network resources comprise network human-capital resources, synergy-sensitive resources (resource combinations within the network), and information sharing within the network.
The third research objective is to determine the impact of networking capability on the international performance of SMEs. The study analyzes 11 hypotheses through structural equations modeling using LISREL. The hypotheses relate to strong and weak ties, the relative strength of strong ties over weak ties, and each of the eight remaining constructs of networking capability in the study. The research conducts a cross-sectional study by using a sample of SMEs drawn from the telecommunications industry in Ireland.
The study supports the hypothesis that strong ties are more influential on international performance than weak ties. Similarly, network coordination and human-capital resources have a positive and significant association with international performance. Strong ties, weak ties, trust, network initiation, synergy-sensitive resources, relational capability, network learning, and information sharing do not have a significant association with international performance. The results of this study are strong (R2=0.63 for performance as the outcome) and provide a number of interesting insights into the relations between collaboration or networking capability and performance.
This study provides managers and policy makers with an improved understanding of the contingent effects of networks to highlight situations where networks might have limited, zero, or even negative effects on business outcomes. The study cautions against the tendency to interpret networks as universally beneficial to business development and performance outcomes.