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Gaining external knowledge - boundaries in managers' knowledge relations
Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
2009 (English)In: Journal of Knowledge Management, ISSN 1367-3270, Vol. 13, no 6, 448-463 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to investigate interorganizational knowledge exchange from the perspective of the individual manager/professional. The paper aims to study the kinds of relationships managers/professionals in SMEs are involved in and the way in which they construct boundaries within and around these interorganizational relationships enabling and hindering knowledge acquisition. Design/methodology/approach - The paper is based on 31 interviews with managers and professionals in seven SMEs. Interviews focused on the interorganizational relationships they viewed as important sources of knowledge for themselves and their organizations. Findings - The study shows that managers/professionals gain vital knowledge from far more interorganizational relationships than those formally designed for knowledge acquisition. The most important sources of knowledge were relationships with suppliers and customers. The study also identifies five boundary dimensions - interests, interpretive frameworks, trust, private/organizational and priority - which respondents use in constructing boundaries within and around the relationships. These boundary dimensions represent important conditions for knowledge acquisition through the relationship. Research limitations/implications - The five boundary dimensions are generated based on a sample of SMEs in Sweden. They must thus be regarded as provisional and need to be validated in further research including larger organizations in different cultural contexts. Future studies should also focus on the dynamics of the boundaries and their interrelations as relationships evolve. Originality/value - This paper adds to research on interorganizational knowledge acquisition by taking an individual level perspective and identifying boundary dimensions through which the relationships and their knowledge flows are shaped.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 13, no 6, 448-463 p.
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-19956DOI: 10.1108/13673270910997114ISI: 000272841600004Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-72149133934OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-19956DiVA: diva2:635604
Available from: 2013-07-04 Created: 2013-06-26 Last updated: 2013-07-04Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
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