IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/iburev/v16y2007i1p1-22.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Interpersonal similarity as a driver of knowledge sharing within multinational corporations

Author

Listed:
  • Makela, Kristiina
  • Kalla, Hanna K.
  • Piekkari, Rebecca

Abstract

Knowledge sharing has attracted considerable interest in the context of the multinational corporation. However, although there is evidence to support the view that effective knowledge sharing is fundamental for competitive advantage, we still do not understand clearly enough the enablers and barriers to such knowledge sharing. In this paper, we argue that interpersonal similarity is one key driver behind knowledge sharing within the MNC context. We focus on the similarity of the national-cultural background, shared language, and similarity of organizational status as factors generating homophily. We suggest that such similarity leads to a higher tendency for interaction, increasing the sharing of business knowledge, and driving an aggregate effect of clustering. Based on a synthesis of the literature and a multiple case study of three multinationals, we argue that knowledge flows better within clusters driven by homophily than between them, creating a paradox of homophily.

Suggested Citation

  • Makela, Kristiina & Kalla, Hanna K. & Piekkari, Rebecca, 2007. "Interpersonal similarity as a driver of knowledge sharing within multinational corporations," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 1-22, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:16:y:2007:i:1:p:1-22
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0969593106001168
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Haridimos Tsoukas & Efi Vladimirou, 2001. "What is Organizational Knowledge?," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(7), pages 973-993, November.
    2. Marschan-Piekkari, Rebecca & Welch, Denice & Welch, Lawrence, 1999. "In the shadow: the impact of language on structure, power and communication in the multinational," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 421-440, August.
    3. Quibria, M.G., 2003. "The Puzzle of Social Capital: A Critical Review," MPRA Paper 2640, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2003.
    4. Stephen P. Borgatti & Rob Cross, 2003. "A Relational View of Information Seeking and Learning in Social Networks," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 432-445, April.
    5. Peter J Buckley & Pervez N Ghauri, 2004. "Globalisation, economic geography and the strategy of multinational enterprises," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 35(2), pages 81-98, March.
    6. Au, Kevin Y. & Fukuda, John, 2002. "Boundary spanning behaviors of expatriates," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 285-296, January.
    7. Shawna O'Grady & Henry W Lane, 1996. "The Psychic Distance Paradox," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 27(2), pages 309-333, June.
    8. Szulanski, Gabriel, 2000. "The Process of Knowledge Transfer: A Diachronic Analysis of Stickiness," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 9-27, May.
    9. Bruce Kogut & Udo Zander, 1993. "Knowledge of the Firm and the Evolutionary Theory of the Multinational Corporation," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 24(4), pages 625-645, December.
    10. Peter J Buckley & Pervez N Ghauri, 2004. "Globalisation, economic geography and the strategy of multinational enterprises," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 35(3), pages 255-255, May.
    11. Julian Birkinshaw & Neil Hood, 2000. "Characteristics of Foreign Subsidiaries in Industry Clusters," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 31(1), pages 141-154, March.
    12. Goodall, Keith & Roberts, John, 2003. "Only connect: teamwork in the multinational," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 150-164, May.
    13. Linda Argote & Bill McEvily & Ray Reagans, 2003. "Managing Knowledge in Organizations: An Integrative Framework and Review of Emerging Themes," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 571-582, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:16:y:2007:i:1:p:1-22. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/133/description#description .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.