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

Author

Listed:
  • Aalbers, Rick

    (Atos Consulting)

  • Koppius, Otto

    (RSM/Erasmus University)

  • Dolfsma, Wilfred

    (RSM/Erasmus University)

Abstract

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 - Centre for Innovation Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:lucirc:2006_008
    as

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    File URL: http://wp.circle.lu.se/upload/CIRCLE/workingpapers/200608_Aalbers_et_al.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ejermo, Olof & Kander, Astrid, 2006. "The Swedish Paradox," Papers in Innovation Studies 2006/1, Lund University, CIRCLE - Centre for Innovation Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mei Hsiu-Ching Ho & Vincent H. Lin & John S. Liu, 2014. "Exploring knowledge diffusion among nations: a study of core technologies in fuel cells," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 100(1), pages 149-171, July.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Knowledge transfer; Formal networks; informal networks; multi-unit organizations.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

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

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