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Micro-Foundations of Organizational Knowledge Sharing

Kou-Barrett, C; (2013) Micro-Foundations of Organizational Knowledge Sharing. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London).

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Although current research on knowledge sharing has offered significant insights into the effective exchange of expert knowledge in day-to-day assignments, the role of individuals within these knowledge sharing processes, as well as how they affect individuals’ subsequent knowledge sharing choices, remains relatively under-explored. This dissertation investigates the role of individuals in knowledge coordination processes through three grounded, qualitative studies based on large engineering projects in a multi-national engineering consultation and information technology company. Study 1 focuses on the evolution of task interdependence during knowledge coordination and examines how a group of individuals become collectively responsible for problems that arise during work interactions. The process model shows that individuals re-interpret their accountability depending on the nature of the problem at hand, which, in turn, influences their subsequent problem solving efforts. Study 2 explores how managers shape the team’s interdependence . This study shows that task interdependence can be developed and reciprocally reinforced through knowledge creation, even in spite of physical distances. The model shows that the use of boundary objects – templates – not only alters focus at both team and project level but also effectively integrates and aligns discrete team efforts toward a unified project goal. Study 3 sets out to explore how interdependence is affected by distance, focusing on the development of psychological inter-team interdependence through comparison of two projects. In particular, the emergent model of inter-team closeness revolves around sensemaking of cross-team distance and of one’s own role. As such, findings reveal that distributed teams may actually have higher levels of inter-team closeness than collocated teams.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Micro-Foundations of Organizational Knowledge Sharing
Language: English
Additional information: Permission for digitisation not received.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > UCL School of Management
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1412994
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