Unit power affects interunit knowledge transfer

[German title: Macht beeinflußt den Wissenstransfer zwischen Abteilungen ]

Sze-Sze Wong, Violet T. Ho, and  Chay Hoon Lee
A Power Perspective to Interunit Knowledge Transfer: Linking Knowledge Attributes to Unit Power and the Transfer of Knowledge
Journal of Management, Vol. 34, No. 1, 127-150 (2008)

Abstract: This research investigates whether unit power affects interunit knowledge transfer. We propose that units are more likely to transfer their knowledge to other units with more critical, nonsubstitutable, and central knowledge because the latter have greater unit power upon the former. Findings from two firms reveal that differences in knowledge criticality and nonsubstitutability predict the degree of power one unit has upon another. However, only findings from one firm supported the mediating effect of unit power on knowledge transfer from a source to a seeker, suggesting that the role of unit power in affecting interunit knowledge transfer may be contingent on the degree of goal interdependence among units.

Key Words: knowledge transfer • knowledge criticality • knowledge centrality • knowledge nonsubstitutability • unit power

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© 2008 Southern Management Association

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