Motivation, Knowledge Transfer, and Organizational Forms

IEER Working Paper No. 27

44 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2000

See all articles by Margit Osterloh

Margit Osterloh

University of Basel; Professor (em.) University of Zurich

Bruno S. Frey

CREMA; University of Basel

Date Written: November 1999


Employees are motivated intrinsically as well as extrinsically. Intrinsic motivation is crucial when tacit knowledge in and between teams must be transferred. Organizational forms enable different kinds of motivation and have different capacities to generate and transfer tacit knowledge. Since knowledge generation and transfer are essential for a firm's sustainable competitive advantage, we ask specifically what kinds of motivation are needed to generate and transfer tacit knowledge, as opposed to explicit knowledge.

Keywords: Motivation, Knowledge Transfer, Tacit Knowledge, Crowding Effects, Firm Theory, Resource-based View

JEL Classification: A12, J33, L22, M12

Suggested Citation

Osterloh, Margit and Frey, Bruno S., Motivation, Knowledge Transfer, and Organizational Forms (November 1999). IEER Working Paper No. 27, Available at SSRN: or

Margit Osterloh (Contact Author)

University of Basel ( email )

Petersplatz 1
Basel, CH-4003

Professor (em.) University of Zurich ( email )

Südstrasse 11
Zürich, CH-8008

Bruno S. Frey

CREMA ( email )

Südstrasse 11
Zurich, CH 8008
+41 44 380 00 78 (Phone)

University of Basel ( email )

Peter Merian-Weg 6
Basel, 4002