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Distribution of Knowledge, Group Network Structure, and Group Performance

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Author Info

  • Diane L. Rulke

    ()
    (School of Management, Royal Holloway, University of London, Surrey TW20 OEX, United Kingdom)

  • Joseph Galaskiewicz

    (Department of Sociology and Curtis L. Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455)

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    Abstract

    This study investigates the effect of knowledge distribution and group structure on performance in MBA game teams. We found that group performance was contingent on the distribution of knowledge within the group and networks of social relationships among group members. Studying 39 teams of MBA students in two management simulation games, we found that, in general, groups that had broadly distributed knowledge, i.e., groups made up of members who had general knowledge, outperformed groups that had knowledge concentrated in different members, i.e., groups made up of members who had specialized or both specialized and general knowledge. However, the advantage that the former enjoyed over the latter disappeared when groups of specialists or mixed groups had decentralized network structures.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.46.5.612.12052
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 46 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 5 (May)
    Pages: 612-625

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:46:y:2000:i:5:p:612-625

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    Related research

    Keywords: small groups; networks; group knowledge;

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    Cited by:
    1. Dekker, D.J. & Stokman, F. & Franses, Ph.H.B.F., 2000. "Broker Positions in Task-Specific Knowledge Networks," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2000-37-MKT, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus Uni.
    2. Boh, Wai Fong & Evaristo, Roberto & Ouderkirk, Andrew, 2014. "Balancing breadth and depth of expertise for innovation: A 3M story," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 349-366.
    3. Wang, Long & Keith Murnighan, J., 2013. "The generalist bias," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 120(1), pages 47-61.
    4. Daniel Ladley & Ian Wilkinson & Louise Young, 2013. "The Evolution Of Cooperation In Business: Individual Vs. Group Incentives," Discussion Papers in Economics 13/14, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.

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