Small World Networks and Knowledge Creation: Implications for Multiple Levels of Analysis
54 Pages Posted: 6 May 2003
Date Written: January 28, 2004
We integrate research on creativity and innovation at the individual, group and interfirm-network levels to develop a level-agnostic definition of a knowledge network. We identify properties of these networks that appear to be common across levels, and show how these properties influence knowledge diffusion and search. We then apply graph theoretic findings on small worlds to this knowledge network approach to show how the structure of a knowledge network will impact its rate of new knowledge creation: small world properties enable a knowledge network to simultaneously achieve high bandwidth and great reach, accelerating the rate of knowledge creation.
Keywords: knowledge network, knowledge creation, small-world networks, cognitive insight, group innovation, social networks, alliances, knowledge diffusion, recombinant search
JEL Classification: D83, O31, O32, Z13
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