Reciprocity of Knowledge Flows in Internal Network Forms of Organizing
AbstractFundamental changes in the competitive landscape triggered many firms to leverage and build competencies by focusing on transition processes towards internal network forms of organizing. These forms ameliorate exploration through knowledge creation and transfer.Internal networks are characterized by horizontal knowledge flows that supplement andsupplant the vertical knowledge flows that characterize other organization forms like thefunctional and multi-divisional forms. As these horizontal knowledge flows facilitateknowledge integration, internal networks have an advantage over other organization forms inleveraging and building competencies. One characteristic that makes these horizontalknowledge flows work is the reciprocity ensuing them. Reciprocity relates to theinterdependence and coordination modes that characterize internal networks. As reciprocity isinfluenced by managerial coordination, by the intention to deploy knowledge, and by goalattainment, creating and maintaining reciprocity of knowledge flows can be considered as a managerial competence.In this paper, the attributes of organization form that impact the reciprocity in a firm are explored from structural, managerial and knowledge perspectives. Hypotheses are developed which suggest that specialization and the use of formal meetings restrictreciprocity, whereas job rotation, the number of employees with a coordination function, andteams have a positive effect on the level of reciprocity. These hypotheses are tested by meansof a questionnaire administered in a business unit of a multinational financial services firm.Reciprocity of knowledge flows was found to be dependent on the characteristics mentioned above in a predicted way. Since none of the hypotheses needed to be rejected, the evidence suggests that reciprocity is a fundamental feature of internal networks and the horizontal knowledge flows that characterize them. This suggests reciprocity to be an important managerial competence.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by 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 University Rotterdam. in its series Research Paper with number ERS-2005-024-STR.
Date of creation: 10 May 2005
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.erim.eur.nl/
internal networks; knowledge integration; competence leveraging and building; organizational attributes; reciprocity of knowledge flows;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-09-29 (All new papers)
- NEP-NET-2005-09-29 (Network Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2005-09-29 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Werner Güth & Wolfgang Klose & Manfred Königstein & Joachim Schwalbach, 1998. "An experimental study of a dynamic principal-agent relationship," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4-5), pages 327-341.
- Roger J Kashlak & Rajan Chandran & C Anthony Di Benedetto, 1998. "Reciprocity in International Business: A Study of Telecommunications Alliances and Contracts," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 29(2), pages 281-304, June.
- Bosch, F.A.J. van den & Wijk, R.A.J.L. van, 2000. "Creation of Managerial Capabilities Through Managerial Knowledge Integration," Research Paper ERS-2000-19-STR, 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.
- Kogut, Bruce, 1989. "The Stability of Joint Ventures: Reciprocity and Competitive Rivalry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(2), pages 183-98, December.
- Bosch, F.A.J. van den & Wijk, R.A.J.L. van & Volberda, H.W., 2003. "Absorptive Capacity: Antecedents, Models and Outcomes," Research Paper ERS-2003-035-STR, 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.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ERIM Series Handler at the ERIM Office).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.