Lost in Transition: Knowledge Acquisition and Knowledge Loss in Interpersonal Exchanges
41 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2014 Last revised: 17 Apr 2019
Date Written: January 15, 2014
In this paper, we study knowledge loss in knowledge transfer processes as a novel theoretical concept. In particular, we focus on 3,429 knowledge sharing ties among 330 employees in a data solution company and consider network features associated with incomplete transfers of knowledge from a source to a recipient. Results indicate that while strength of ties facilitates knowledge acquisition and reduces the amount of knowledge lost in interpersonal exchanges, network range (i.e. ability to connect with otherwise disconnected others) facilitates knowledge acquisition while increasing, at the same time, the amount of knowledge lost. Tie strength further moderates the relationship between network range and knowledge loss. By observing a “cost” to network range in terms of lost knowledge, we suggest that more attention should be paid not only to the advantages, but also to the liabilities of different network positions.
Keywords: social networks; knowledge loss; knowledge acquisition; network structure; range
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