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The role of membership change on knowledge transfer in groups

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  • Sungu Armagan

    ()
    (College of Business Administration - Florida International University)

  • Manuel Portugal Ferreira

    ()
    (Instituto Politécnico de Leiria)

Abstract

Groups can capitalize on knowledge to the extent that it is shared among its members. However, groups are in constant flux as its membership structure changes with new members joining and others exiting continuously. In this paper, we examine the effects of membership change on the knowledge flows and stocks within the group. Specifically, we focus on membership changes that involve the replacement of an oldtimer by a newcomer that joins the group. We argue that membership change affects the extent of knowledge transfer, the type of knowledge transferred and the knowledge stock held by the group. Specifically we focus on two dimensions of knowledge: component (technical) and architectural. Firms may benefit from recognizing these relationships and differences on the pool of knowledge held to improve knowledge flows in groups and enhance their performance, namely their innovative ability.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by globADVANTAGE, Polytechnic Institute of Leiria in its series Working Papers with number 40.

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Date of creation: 23 Sep 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pil:wpaper:40

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Keywords: membership change; newcomer; knowledge transfer; knowledge; turnover;

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  1. Laughlin, Patrick R., 1999. "Collective Induction: Twelve Postulates," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 50-69, October.
  2. Bruce Kogut & Udo Zander, 1993. "Knowledge of the Firm and the Evolutionary Theory of the Multinational Corporation," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 24(4), pages 625-645, December.
  3. Linda Argote & Sara L. Beckman & Dennis Epple, 1990. "The Persistence and Transfer of Learning in Industrial Settings," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(2), pages 140-154, February.
  4. Gruenfeld, Deborah H & Martorana, Paul V. & Fan, Elliott T., 2000. "What Do Groups Learn from Their Worldliest Members? Direct and Indirect Influence in Dynamic Teams," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 45-59, May.
  5. Gersick, Connie J. G. & Hackman, J. Richard, 1990. "Habitual routines in task-performing groups," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 65-97, October.
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