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Governing Knowledge Sharing in Organizations: Levels of Analysis, Governance Mechanisms, and Research Directions


  • Nicolai J. Foss
  • Kenneth Husted
  • Snejina Michailova


We discuss and examine recent claims that research on knowledge processes has paid insufficient attention to micro (individual) level constructs and mechanisms and to the role of formal organization in governing knowledge processes. We review knowledge sharing research published in 13 (top academic plus top practitioner-oriented) journals in the period 1996-2006 in relation to these two propositions. The review confirms the claim that the knowledge sharing literature is preoccupied with constructs, processes, and phenomena defined at a macro (collective, organizational) level and pay comparatively little attention to micro level constructs. The review provides less support for the proposition that formal governance mechanisms have been under-researched in comparison to formal organization. Still, the multiple ways in which formal governance mechanisms may interact in influencing knowledge sharing outcomes have been under-researched, as has the interaction between more informal aspects of the firm and formal governance mechanisms. We argue that future research on knowledge sharing needs to fill these gaps. Copyright (c) 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd and Society for the Advancement of Management Studies.

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  • Nicolai J. Foss & Kenneth Husted & Snejina Michailova, 2010. "Governing Knowledge Sharing in Organizations: Levels of Analysis, Governance Mechanisms, and Research Directions," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 455-482, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:47:y:2010:i:3:p:455-482

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