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Interruptive Events and Team Knowledge Acquisition


  • Mary E. Zellmer-Bruhn

    () (Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, 321 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455)


Interruptions have commonly been viewed as negative and as something for managers to control or limit. In this paper, I explore the relationship between interruptions and acquisition of routines---a form of knowledge---by teams. Recent research suggests that interruptions may play an important role in changing organizational routines, and as such may influence knowledge transfer activities. Results suggest that interruptions influence knowledge transfer effort, and both knowledge transfer effort and interruptions are positively related to the acquisition of new work routines. I conclude with implications for research and practice.

Suggested Citation

  • Mary E. Zellmer-Bruhn, 2003. "Interruptive Events and Team Knowledge Acquisition," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 514-528, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:49:y:2003:i:4:p:514-528

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    Cited by:

    1. Kane, Aimee A. & Argote, Linda & Levine, John M., 2005. "Knowledge transfer between groups via personnel rotation: Effects of social identity and knowledge quality," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 56-71, January.
    2. repec:spr:manint:v:48:y:2008:i:3:d:10.1007_s11575-008-0019-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Tippmann, Esther & Sharkey Scott, Pamela & Mangematin, Vincent, 2014. "Subsidiary managers’ knowledge mobilizations: Unpacking emergent knowledge flows," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 431-443.
    4. 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.
    5. Roman M. Sheremeta & Matthew W. McCarter, 2013. "You Can’t Put Old Wine in New Bottles: The Effect of Newcomers on Coordination in Groups," Working Papers 13-02, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    6. Cindy Zawadzki, 2011. "L'évolution du fonctionnement de la PME lors de l'introduction du contrôle de gestion : leçons d'un échec," Post-Print hal-00650594, HAL.
    7. 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.
    8. Bertolotti, Fabiola & Mattarelli, Elisa & Vignoli, Matteo & Macrì, Diego Maria, 2015. "Exploring the relationship between multiple team membership and team performance: The role of social networks and collaborative technology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 911-924.
    9. repec:spr:manint:v:47:y:2007:i:4:d:10.1007_s11575-007-0030-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Pearsall, Matthew J. & Ellis, Aleksander P.J. & Stein, Jordan H., 2009. "Coping with challenge and hindrance stressors in teams: Behavioral, cognitive, and affective outcomes," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 18-28, May.
    11. repec:hal:gemwpa:hal-00864324 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Dusya Vera & Mary Crossan & Claus Rerup & Steve Werner, 2014. "‘Thinking Before Acting’ or ‘Acting Before Thinking’: Antecedents of Individual Action Propensity in Work Situations," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(4), pages 603-633, June.
    13. Garreau, Lionel, 2009. "L’apport du concept de sens à l’étude du fonctionnement des équipes projet : études de cas de développement de centres commerciaux chez Immochan," Economics Thesis from University Paris Dauphine, Paris Dauphine University, number 123456789/4385 edited by Romelaer, Pierre, April.
    14. repec:eee:jobhdp:v:140:y:2017:i:c:p:62-89 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Becker, Markus C. & Lillemark, Morten, 2006. "Marketing/R&D integration in the pharmaceutical industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 105-120, February.
    16. Matthias Brauer & Tomi Laamanen, 2014. "Workforce Downsizing and Firm Performance: An Organizational Routine Perspective," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(8), pages 1311-1333, December.
    17. Anita L. Tucker & Ingrid M. Nembhard & Amy C. Edmondson, 2007. "Implementing New Practices: An Empirical Study of Organizational Learning in Hospital Intensive Care Units," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(6), pages 894-907, June.
    18. Straßheim, Holger, 2004. "Power in intercommunal knowledge networks: on the endogenous dynamics of network governance and knowledge creation," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Innovation and Organization SP III 2004-104, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    19. Chvyrkov, O., 2004. "Top management teams of internationalizing firms : Demography, social processes and learning at the top," Other publications TiSEM 25b41423-7a7a-4b46-b14d-9, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    20. Xie, Qunyong, 2017. "Firm age, marketization, and entry mode choices of emerging economy firms: Evidence from listed firms in China," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 372-385.


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