The Interaction Between Knowledge Codification and Knowledge Sharing Networks

Information Systems Research, Forthcoming

28 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2009

See all articles by De Liu

De Liu

University of Minnesota - Minneapolis

Gautamn Ray

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Department of Operations and Management Science

Andrew B. Whinston

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Information, Risk and Operations Management

Date Written: July 19, 2009

Abstract

Current knowledge management (KM) technologies and strategies advocate two different approaches: knowledge codification and knowledge sharing networks. However, the extant literature has paid limited attention to the interaction between them. This research draws upon the literature on formal modeling of networks to examine the interaction between knowledge codification and knowledge sharing networks. The analysis suggests that an increase in codification may damage existing network-sharing ties. Anticipating that, individuals may hoard their knowledge to protect their network ties, even when there are nontrivial rewards for codification. We find that despite the aforementioned tension between the codification and the network approach, a firm may still benefit from combining the two approaches. Specifically, when the future sharing potential between knowledge workers is high, a combination of the two approaches may outperform a codification-only or a network-only approach as the codification reward causes fewer network ties to break down and the benefit from increased codification can offset the loss of some network ties. However, when the future sharing potential is low an increase in codification reward can quickly break down the whole network, thus firms may be better off by pursuing a codification-only or a network-only strategy.

Keywords: Knowledge Management, Codification, Knowledge Sharing Network, Sharing Potential

JEL Classification: C7, D82, M52, M54

Suggested Citation

Liu, De and Ray, Gautamn and Whinston, Andrew B., The Interaction Between Knowledge Codification and Knowledge Sharing Networks (July 19, 2009). Information Systems Research, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1436112

De Liu (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Minneapolis ( email )

110 Wulling Hall, 86 Pleasant St, S.E.
308 Harvard Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Gautamn Ray

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Department of Operations and Management Science ( email )

Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Andrew B. Whinston

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Information, Risk and Operations Management ( email )

CBA 5.202
Austin, TX 78712
United States
512-471-8879 (Phone)

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