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Shared knowledge, “glitches,” and product development performance


  • David G. Hoopes
  • Steven Postrel


Much recent thought in strategy has stressed the importance of organizational integration for competitive advantage. Empirical studies of product development have supported this emphasis by correlating integrating practices and superior performance. We propose, from a resource‐based or capability view, that this correlation results from integration leading to patterns of shared knowledge among firm members, with the shared knowledge constituting a resource underlying product development capability. To explore this connection, we examine the product development efforts of a scientific software company. We define the ‘glitch’ as a costly error possible only because knowledge was not shared, and measure the influence of glitches on firm performance. At this company, gaps in shared knowledge did cause the company to incur significant excess costs. We also identify a set of ‘syndromes’ that can lead to glitches, and measure the relative importance of these syndromes. The glitch concept may offer a general tool for practical measurement of the marginal benefits of shared knowledge. Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • David G. Hoopes & Steven Postrel, 1999. "Shared knowledge, “glitches,” and product development performance," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(9), pages 837-865, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:stratm:v:20:y:1999:i:9:p:837-865
    DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0266(199909)20:93.0.CO;2-I

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