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Who's Really Sharing? Effects of Social and Expert Status on Knowledge Exchange Within Groups

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Author Info

  • Melissa C. Thomas-Hunt

    ()
    (Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University, 455 Sage Hall, Ithaca, New York 14853)

  • Tonya Y. Ogden

    ()
    (Olin School of Business, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri 63130)

  • Margaret A. Neale

    ()
    (Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305)

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    Abstract

    This study investigated the effects of social status and perceived expertise on the emphasis of unique and shared knowledge within functionally heterogeneous groups. While perceived expertise did not increase the individual's emphasis of their own unique knowledge, perceived experts were more likely than nonexperts to emphasize shared knowledge and other member's unique knowledge contributions. Additionally, socially isolated members participated more in discussions and emphasized more of their unique knowledge than did socially connected members. While unique knowledge contributions increased the positive perception of social isolates, similar unique knowledge contributions decreased the positive perception of socially connected members. Finally, socially connected group members gave greater attention to the unique knowledge contributions of the socially isolated member than to the contributions of their socially connected other, but more favorably evaluated members to whom they were more favorably connected than those to whom they were not. We discuss the implications of our findings for managing knowledge exchange within diverse groups.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.49.4.464.14425
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 49 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 4 (April)
    Pages: 464-477

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:49:y:2003:i:4:p:464-477

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    Related research

    Keywords: Social Status; Knowledge Exchange; Perceived Expertise;

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    Cited by:
    1. Gurtner, Andrea & Tschan, Franziska & Semmer, Norbert K. & Nagele, Christof, 2007. "Getting groups to develop good strategies: Effects of reflexivity interventions on team process, team performance, and shared mental models," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 127-142, March.
    2. Lewis, Kyle & Belliveau, Maura & Herndon, Benjamin & Keller, Joshua, 2007. "Group cognition, membership change, and performance: Investigating the benefits and detriments of collective knowledge," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 103(2), pages 159-178, July.
    3. Černe, Matej & Jaklič, Marko & Škerlavaj, Miha, 2013. "Decoupling management and technological innovations: Resolving the individualism–collectivism controversy," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 103-117.
    4. Loewenstein, Jeffrey & Morris, Michael W. & Chakravarti, Agnish & Thompson, Leigh & Kopelman, Shirli, 2005. "At a loss for words: Dominating the conversation and the outcome in negotiation as a function of intricate arguments and communication media," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 28-38, September.

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