IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/wly/mgtdec/v29y2008i5p459-468.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Knowledge acquisition and transfer among engineers: effects of network structure

Author

Listed:
  • Tonya Boone

    (Mason School of Business, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, USA)

  • Ram Ganeshan

    (Mason School of Business, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, USA)

Abstract

This paper examines the association between the structure of formal intra-firm networks and productivity. We focus on two network structure components-department centralization and centrality, within a four department engineering organization. Centrality indicates the number of connections between one department and others within the organization, while centralization captures how much of those connections are concentrated among the workers within the department. Both of these represent specific managerial decisions in a formal network structure. We use learning curve theory to measure accumulated organizational knowledge, its depreciation and intra-firm transfers. We hypothesize that the departments are more productive, experience less depreciation and realize more knowledge transfer if they have more intra-firm connections among more workers. The findings suggest a significant yet moderate association between the formal network structure and productivity. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Tonya Boone & Ram Ganeshan, 2008. "Knowledge acquisition and transfer among engineers: effects of network structure," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(5), pages 459-468.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:mgtdec:v:29:y:2008:i:5:p:459-468
    DOI: 10.1002/mde.1401
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/mde.1401
    File Function: Link to full text; subscription required
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Midgley, David F. & Morrison, Pamela D. & Roberts, John H., 1992. "The effect of network structure in industrial diffusion processes," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 533-552, December.
    2. Argote, L. & Epple, D., 1990. "Learning Curves In Manufacturing," GSIA Working Papers 89-90-02, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
    3. Argote, Linda & Ingram, Paul, 2000. "Knowledge Transfer: A Basis for Competitive Advantage in Firms," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 150-169, May.
    4. Brian Uzzi & Ryon Lancaster, 2003. "Relational Embeddedness and Learning: The Case of Bank Loan Managers and Their Clients," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 383-399, April.
    5. Charles D. Bailey, 1989. "Forgetting and the Learning Curve: A Laboratory Study," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(3), pages 340-352, March.
    6. Paul S. Adler & Kim B. Clark, 1991. "Behind the Learning Curve: A Sketch of the Learning Process," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 37(3), pages 267-281, March.
    7. Dennis Epple & Linda Argote & Kenneth Murphy, 1996. "An Empirical Investigation of the Microstructure of Knowledge Acquisition and Transfer Through Learning by Doing," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 44(1), pages 77-86, February.
    8. Daniel Z. Levin & Rob Cross, 2004. "The Strength of Weak Ties You Can Trust: The Mediating Role of Trust in Effective Knowledge Transfer," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(11), pages 1477-1490, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    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:wly:mgtdec:v:29:y:2008:i:5:p:459-468. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/7976 .

    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.