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Knowledge sharing mechanisms in industrial research

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Previous research has firmly established the importance of knowledge sharing in Research and Development (R&D) settings. However, current theories provide only fragmented insights into the origination of knowledge sharing, and thus offer limited guidance for knowledge management practices in R&D. To integrate and extend these fragmented insights, we undertook two exploratory field studies of knowledge sharing in industrial research organizations. The contributions of this study are the following. First, we introduce three dimensions that differentiate origination mechanisms for knowledge sharing. Second, we show that some of these mechanisms correspond to mechanisms assumed in particular streams of literature, whereas others have been neglected till now. Third, based on our field studies, we show that each of these knowledge-sharing mechanisms have a different value for industrial research practices. Therefore, knowledge management in R&D should facilitate and stimulate a broad portfolio of knowledge-sharing mechanisms.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Eindhoven Centre for Innovation Studies, Eindhoven University of Technology, PO Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands , Email: 2: Managerial Economics and Strategy Group, Katholieke Univesiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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