IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Differentiation in knowledge-creating organizations


  • M. Begoña Lloria


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to focus on the analysis of the influence of organizational design variables on the creation of knowledge within the organization. The impact that enablers have on knowledge creation has been widely demonstrated and established in the relevant literature. Using this assumption as a starting-point, the main aim of this study is to consider and explore the role of differentiation – horizontal and vertical – in knowledge creation using enablers as mediator variables. Design/methodology/approach - The paper has created a model of relations of the design variables that correspond to differentiation – horizontal job specialization, vertical job specialization and number of hierarchical levels; the enablers – autonomy, redundancy and variety; and knowledge creation. This model is then contrasted with an empirical investigation of a quantitative nature, using a sample of 167 large Spanish firms. Findings - The findings in the paper confirm both the impact of enablers on knowledge creation, as defined in the literature, and the fact that vertical specialization is shown to be a suitable design variable for creating knowledge through the autonomy enabler. However, the relation between the horizontal specialization of work and the number of hierarchical levels is not confirmed as being significant in terms of knowledge creation. Research limitations/implications - This paper considers the main limitation of this research to be that the questionnaire was answered by only one respondent, which forced one to consider the outcomes of this research with a certain degree of caution. Practical implications - The results in the paper may be relevant for managers in decision making with regard to organizational design. Herein, reference is made to variables relative to job design and the number of hierarchical levels. Originality/value - The value of this paper lies in two aspects. First, it overlaps two fields of research; organizational design and knowledge creation. Second, although there is a lot of literature on knowledge creation, there are very few empirical studies, especially of a quantitative nature.

Suggested Citation

  • M. Begoña Lloria, 2007. "Differentiation in knowledge-creating organizations," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 28(8), pages 674-693, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:28:y:2007:i:8:p:674-693

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers

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


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Dai, Ye & Du, Kui & Byun, Gukdo & Zhu, Xi, 2017. "Ambidexterity in new ventures: The impact of new product development alliances and transactive memory systems," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 77-85.
    2. Marko Slavković & Verica Babić, 2013. "Knowledge Management, Innovativeness, And Organizational Performance: Evidence From Serbia," Economic Annals, Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade, vol. 58(199), pages 85-108, October -.

    More about this item


    Knowledge creation; Labour; Decision making;


    Access and download statistics


    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:eme:ijmpps:v:28:y:2007:i:8:p:674-693. 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: (Virginia Chapman). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.