The role of membership change on knowledge transfer in groups
Groups can capitalize on knowledge to the extent that it is shared among its members. However, groups are in constant flux as its membership structure changes with new members joining and others exiting continuously. In this paper, we examine the effects of membership change on the knowledge flows and stocks within the group. Specifically, we focus on membership changes that involve the replacement of an oldtimer by a newcomer that joins the group. We argue that membership change affects the extent of knowledge transfer, the type of knowledge transferred and the knowledge stock held by the group. Specifically we focus on two dimensions of knowledge: component (technical) and architectural. Firms may benefit from recognizing these relationships and differences on the pool of knowledge held to improve knowledge flows in groups and enhance their performance, namely their innovative ability.
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