Organizing Knowledge in Internal Networks; A Multilevel Study Defended on Thursday, 22 May 2003

Organizing knowledge is fundamental to the competitive success of firms. Recent research shows that many firms experience difficulty in transferring and integrating knowledge across their organizational units, and that its remedy requires that firms change their organization forms. This PhD study seeks to examine how internal network forms of organizing influence the organization and integration of knowledge. Employing a longitudinal case study method and two questionnaires, four studies are conducted in which the effect and performance implications of both corporate-level and business-level elements shaping knowledge integration in internal networks are examined. The results demonstrate that firms improve the integration and organization of knowledge by adopting sets of complementary elements characteristic of internal networks at the corporate level, as well as through the contribution of internal networks in developing the capacity to absorb knowledge at the business level.


absorptive capacity, alliance, central organization, transition, social networks, clusters, collaborations, competitors, complexity, cooperatives, corporate headquarters, customers, decentralization, exploitation, external networks, facilitating, firms, high knowledge integrators, horizontal knowledge, human resource practices, internal networks, knowledge bases, knowledge flow configuration, knowledge flows, knowledge integration, knowledge transfers, learning, low knowledge integrators, managers, market, networks, organizational layers, product-based structures, project-based structures

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