IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

On and Off the Beaten Path: Transferring Knowledge through Formal and Informal Networks


  • Aalbers, Rick

    () (Atos Consulting)

  • Koppius, Otto

    () (RSM/Erasmus University)

  • Dolfsma, Wilfred

    () (RSM/Erasmus University)


Informal networks are often emphasized as facilitating knowledge transfer. However, we find that formal networks also contribute significantly to knowledge transfer, and in fact contribute more than informal networks. This is particularly the case when knowledge is transferred between units. Additional analysis shows a synergetic effect between formal and informal ties, which suggests that knowledge transfer effects that in previous studies were attributed to informal networks only, may in fact be caused by the combination of both formal and informal networks. We conclude that there is more than one path to transfer knowledge effectively.

Suggested Citation

  • Aalbers, Rick & Koppius, Otto & Dolfsma, Wilfred, 2006. "On and Off the Beaten Path: Transferring Knowledge through Formal and Informal Networks," Papers in Innovation Studies 2006/8, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:lucirc:2006_008

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ejermo, Olof & Kander, Astrid, 2006. "The Swedish Paradox," Papers in Innovation Studies 2006/1, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:scient:v:100:y:2014:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-014-1265-z is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Knowledge transfer; Formal networks; informal networks; multi-unit organizations.;

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:hhs:lucirc:2006_008. 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: (Torben Schubert). General contact details of provider: .

    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.