Interunit knowledge flows provide opportunities for mutual learning, favour the running of local and global operations, and foster innovation processes. This paper investigates the social processes that underlie interunit knowledge flows as spontaneous practice sharing among peers belonging to different subunits. We explore how practice-based flows develop between individuals who are affiliated with different subunits of a given organization, and how such flows coexist with vertical structures, such as the headquarters. Through a field study employing semi-structured interviews and social network analysis in an Italian multiunit company running operations worldwide, we show how headquarters and practice-based flows respond to different organizational and individual needs, thereby laying the premises for their likely coexistence. In particular, we highlight how individuals’ practice sharing is enrooted in the need to affirm a positive professional identity, while also benefiting the overall organizational coordination. We then discuss theoretical and practical implications of our findings.

A perspective on practice in interunit knowledge sharing / M. R., Tagliaventi; Bertolotti, Fabiola; Macri', Diego Maria. - In: EUROPEAN MANAGEMENT JOURNAL. - ISSN 0263-2373. - STAMPA. - 28:5(2010), pp. 331-345. [10.1016/j.emj.2010.04.001]

A perspective on practice in interunit knowledge sharing

BERTOLOTTI, Fabiola;MACRI', Diego Maria
2010

Abstract

Interunit knowledge flows provide opportunities for mutual learning, favour the running of local and global operations, and foster innovation processes. This paper investigates the social processes that underlie interunit knowledge flows as spontaneous practice sharing among peers belonging to different subunits. We explore how practice-based flows develop between individuals who are affiliated with different subunits of a given organization, and how such flows coexist with vertical structures, such as the headquarters. Through a field study employing semi-structured interviews and social network analysis in an Italian multiunit company running operations worldwide, we show how headquarters and practice-based flows respond to different organizational and individual needs, thereby laying the premises for their likely coexistence. In particular, we highlight how individuals’ practice sharing is enrooted in the need to affirm a positive professional identity, while also benefiting the overall organizational coordination. We then discuss theoretical and practical implications of our findings.
28
5
331
345
A perspective on practice in interunit knowledge sharing / M. R., Tagliaventi; Bertolotti, Fabiola; Macri', Diego Maria. - In: EUROPEAN MANAGEMENT JOURNAL. - ISSN 0263-2373. - STAMPA. - 28:5(2010), pp. 331-345. [10.1016/j.emj.2010.04.001]
M. R., Tagliaventi; Bertolotti, Fabiola; Macri', Diego Maria
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11380/643868
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