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Who's Really Sharing? Effects of Social and Expert Status on Knowledge Exchange Within Groups


  • Melissa C. Thomas-Hunt

    () (Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University, 455 Sage Hall, Ithaca, New York 14853)

  • Tonya Y. Ogden

    () (Olin School of Business, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri 63130)

  • Margaret A. Neale

    () (Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305)


This study investigated the effects of social status and perceived expertise on the emphasis of unique and shared knowledge within functionally heterogeneous groups. While perceived expertise did not increase the individual's emphasis of their own unique knowledge, perceived experts were more likely than nonexperts to emphasize shared knowledge and other member's unique knowledge contributions. Additionally, socially isolated members participated more in discussions and emphasized more of their unique knowledge than did socially connected members. While unique knowledge contributions increased the positive perception of social isolates, similar unique knowledge contributions decreased the positive perception of socially connected members. Finally, socially connected group members gave greater attention to the unique knowledge contributions of the socially isolated member than to the contributions of their socially connected other, but more favorably evaluated members to whom they were more favorably connected than those to whom they were not. We discuss the implications of our findings for managing knowledge exchange within diverse groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Melissa C. Thomas-Hunt & Tonya Y. Ogden & Margaret A. Neale, 2003. "Who's Really Sharing? Effects of Social and Expert Status on Knowledge Exchange Within Groups," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 464-477, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:49:y:2003:i:4:p:464-477

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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea R. Hugill & Jodi L. Short & Michael W. Toffel, 2016. "Beyond Symbolic Responses to Private Politics: Examining Labor Standards Improvement in Global Supply Chains," Harvard Business School Working Papers 17-001, Harvard Business School.
    2. Cathy Macharis & Peter Nijkamp, 2013. "Stakeholder bias in multi-actor multi-criteria transportation evaluation: issues and solutions," Chapters,in: Smart Transport Networks, chapter 12, pages 248-268 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. 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.
    4. Lewis, Kyle & Belliveau, Maura & Herndon, Benjamin & Keller, Joshua, 2007. "Group cognition, membership change, and performance: Investigating the benefits and detriments of collective knowledge," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 103(2), pages 159-178, July.
    5. 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.
    6. repec:wsi:jikmxx:v:16:y:2017:i:04:n:s0219649217500332 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Argote, Linda & Fahrenkopf, Erin, 2016. "Knowledge transfer in organizations: The roles of members, tasks, tools, and networks," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 146-159.
    8. Černe, Matej & Jaklič, Marko & Škerlavaj, Miha, 2013. "Decoupling management and technological innovations: Resolving the individualism–collectivism controversy," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 103-117.
    9. Loewenstein, Jeffrey & Morris, Michael W. & Chakravarti, Agnish & Thompson, Leigh & Kopelman, Shirli, 2005. "At a loss for words: Dominating the conversation and the outcome in negotiation as a function of intricate arguments and communication media," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 28-38, September.
    10. Jing Wang & Catherine A. Cole, 2016. "The Effects of Age and Expertise on Product Evaluations: Does the Type of Information Matter?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(7), pages 2039-2053, July.
    11. Gurtner, Andrea & Tschan, Franziska & Semmer, Norbert K. & Nagele, Christof, 2007. "Getting groups to develop good strategies: Effects of reflexivity interventions on team process, team performance, and shared mental models," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 127-142, March.
    12. Thomas Vanoutrive & Ann Verhetsel (ed.), 2013. "Smart Transport Networks," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 15483.
    13. repec:spr:infosf:v:13:y:2011:i:5:d:10.1007_s10796-010-9241-5 is not listed on IDEAS


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