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Specialize or Coordinate? The impact of organization design on shared mental representations and innovation outcomes in joint search


  • Thorbjørn Knudsen
  • Kannan Srikanth


The integration of specialists’ search efforts is one of the principal purposes of organization. Integration mechanisms enable joint search by allowing interdependent others to form shared mental models of the joint task. However, apart from the formation of shared mental models, organization also impacts the locus of search and specialization in innovative conditions. This interplay between the emergence of self (specialized) knowledge and shared knowledge is likely to significantly impact joint search outcomes. In this paper we propose a computational model that examines the trade-off in the development of specialized vs. shared knowledge and how it impacts joint search for different innovation landscapes and different levels of agent ability. Our results point to the importance of not generalizing from single searcher problems for joint searcher problems.

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  • Thorbjørn Knudsen & Kannan Srikanth, 2011. "Specialize or Coordinate? The impact of organization design on shared mental representations and innovation outcomes in joint search," DRUID Working Papers 11-16, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:11-16

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    Organization Design ; Coordination ; Joint Search; Shared Mental Models;

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