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Sharing Research Equipment to Bridge Intraorganizational Boundaries: The Cases of Novartis and ETH Zurich

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OVERVIEW: R&D units are often structured by product or by scientific discipline. In either case, organizational boundaries impede horizontal information linkages. This dilemma can be mitigated by setting up specific shared equipment arrangements as cross-boundary units. In this article, we present three case studies of shared equipment arrangements that differ largely in terms of their level of institutionalization. However, all three arrangements significantly strengthen informal cross-boundary networks by facilitating face-to-face contact. Shared equipment arrangements may be implemented in a variety of forms, and they are a valuable tool for R&D managers to improve organizational knowledge management.

Keywords: Knowledge management; Research organizations; Shared equipment arrangements; Technology platforms

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2013

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