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Neither Hierarchy nor Identity: Knowledge-Governance Mechanisms and the Theory of the Firm

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  • Anna Grandori

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    Abstract

    Building on existing empirical research on knowledge transfer, sharing and integration in inter-firm and intra-firm relations, it is argued that there is little evidence and theoretical reason for assigning exclusive properties to internal or external organization, as such, in a knowledge-governance respect. A more micro framework is then theoretically developed, in which a portfolio of knowledge-governance mechanisms is evaluated according to two criteria: the cognitive `possibility' to sustain certain types of knowledge interchanges; and the comparative cost of the mechanism where more than one is applicable. The results of both the empirical and conceptual analyses conducted cast doubts on the possibility of having a `theory of the firm,' based on the deterministic presence/absence of certain attributes and the possession of exclusive properties – no matter if hierarchy or identity – and call for a more `continuous' (rather than `discrete') and `combinative' (rather than mutually exclusive) notion of governance forms. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1014055213456
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Management and Governance.

    Volume (Year): 5 (2001)
    Issue (Month): 3 (September)
    Pages: 381-399

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:jmgtgv:v:5:y:2001:i:3:p:381-399

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102940

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    Cited by:
    1. Margit Osterloh & Bruno S. Frey, . "Shareholders Should Welcome Employees as Directors," IEW - Working Papers 228, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    2. Nathalie Lazaric & Alain Raybaut, 2014. "Do incentive systems spur work motivation of inventors in high tech firms? A group-based perspective," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 135-157, January.
    3. Raab, Katharina J. & Ambos, Björn & Tallman, Stephen, 2014. "Strong or invisible hands? – Managerial involvement in the knowledge sharing process of globally dispersed knowledge groups," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 32-41.
    4. M. Shyam Kumar, 2013. "Production knowledge and its impact on the mechanisms of governance," Journal of Management and Governance, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 261-281, May.
    5. Nathalie Lazaric & Alain Raybaut, 2014. "Do incentive systems spur work motivations of inventors in high-tech firms," Post-Print halshs-00930186, HAL.
    6. Patriotta, Gerardo & Castellano, Anna & Wright, Mike, 2013. "Coordinating knowledge transfer: Global managers as higher-level intermediaries," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 515-526.
    7. Minbaeva, Dana B., 2008. "HRM practices affecting extrinsic and intrinsic motivation of knowledge receivers and their effect on intra-MNC knowledge transfer," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 703-713, December.
    8. Cacciatori, Eugenia, 2008. "Memory objects in project environments: Storing, retrieving and adapting learning in project-based firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1591-1601, October.

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