Work Groups, Structural Diversity, and Knowledge Sharing in a Global Organization
Effective work groups engage in external knowledge sharing--the exchange of information, know-how, and feedback with customers, organizational experts, and others outside of the group. This paper argues that the value of external knowledge sharing increases when work groups are more structurally diverse. A structurally diverse work group is one in which the members, by virtue of their different organizational affiliations, roles, or positions, can expose the group to unique sources of knowledge. It is hypothesized that if members of structurally diverse work groups engage in external knowledge sharing, their performance will improve because of this active exchange of knowledge through unique external sources. A field study of 182 work groups in a Fortune 500 telecommunications firm operationalizes structural diversity as member differences in geographic locations, functional assignments, reporting managers, and business units, as indicated by corporate database records. External knowledge sharing was measured with group member surveys and performance was assessed using senior executive ratings. Ordered logit analyses showed that external knowledge sharing was more strongly associated with performance when work groups were more structurally diverse. Implications for theory and practice around the integration of work groups and social networks are addressed.
Volume (Year): 50 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (March)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA|
Web page: http://www.informs.org/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- David W. Conrath, 1973. "Communications Environment and its Relationship to Organizational Structure," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 20(4-Part-II), pages 586-603, December.
- Abbie Griffin & John R. Hauser, 1992. "Patterns of Communication Among Marketing, Engineering and Manufacturing---A Comparison Between Two New Product Teams," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 38(3), pages 360-373, March.
- James W. Brown & James M. Utterback, 1985. "Uncertainty and Technical Communication Patterns," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 31(3), pages 301-311, March.
- Linda Argote & Bill McEvily & Ray Reagans, 2003. "Introduction to the Special Issue on Managing Knowledge in Organizations: Creating, Retaining, and Transferring Knowledge," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages v-viii, April.
- Mary Beth Pinto & Jeffrey K. Pinto & John E. Prescott, 1993. "Antecedents and Consequences of Project Team Cross-Functional Cooperation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 39(10), pages 1281-1297, October.
- Christophe Van den Bulte & Rudy K. Moenaert, 1998. "The Effects of R&D Team Co-location on Communication Patterns among R&D, Marketing, and Manufacturing," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(11-Part-2), pages S1-S18, November.
- Diane L. Rulke & Joseph Galaskiewicz, 2000. "Distribution of Knowledge, Group Network Structure, and Group Performance," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(5), pages 612-625, May.
- Samer Faraj & Lee Sproull, 2000. "Coordinating Expertise in Software Development Teams," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(12), pages 1554-1568, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:50:y:2004:i:3:p:352-364. 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: (Mirko Janc)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.