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Knowledge Mobilization through Social Ties: The Cost-Benefit Analysis

Abstract

Social network ties enable collaborative creation and sharing of ideas between knowledge workers. Thus, these ties play an important role in organizational innovation as well as for the personal success of the innovators. However, scholars tend to focus only on the information benefits, underestimating the costs of interpersonal relationships. Going beyond this one-dimensional perspective, we first suggest a theoretical model that takes into account both, benefits and transaction costs of social ties. Second, based on this model, we examine the advantages and disadvantages of strong and weak ties in the process of knowledge mobilization, the quality of knowledge, and the transaction costs of maintaining and using the ties. Finally, we shift the focus from the dyadic perspective to an integrative view and discuss the implications that our analysis has for a knowledge worker’s portfolio of ties.

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Correspondence to Alexander Fliaster.

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The authors thank Florian Schloderer, Stephan Kaiser and two anonymous reviewers for their valuable feedback.

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Fliaster, A., Spiess, J. Knowledge Mobilization through Social Ties: The Cost-Benefit Analysis. Schmalenbach Bus Rev 60, 99–117 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03396761

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03396761

JEL-Classification

  • O31
  • O32
  • M12

Keywords

  • Innovation
  • Knowledge Sharing
  • Strong Ties
  • Transaction Costs
  • Weak Ties