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Über dieses Buch

Collective knowledge and the associated concepts of collectively learning, remembering and inventing are increasingly important in today’s economy and society. Completing knowledge work alone is more and more difficult for individuals. Based on novel data sets which identify founders as inventors on patents and survey data collected from senior management, the author investigates questions about knowledge processing. What determines whether dispersed specialist knowledge can be located and used to complete tasks or to create new knowledge? How are social interactions organized and to what extent do individuals such as founders influence the course of action taken by the system as a whole?

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction to the Dissertation

Abstract
Collective knowledge, and the associated concepts of collectively learning, remembering, and inventing, are increasingly important when it comes to understanding today’s economy and society. Many argue that an organization’s knowledge-related capabilities are the main source of its competitive advantage (e.g., Kogut & Zander, 1992; Prahalad & Hamel, 1990) and that organizations exist primarily to function as a coordination mechanism to process and integrate the specialist knowledge of its members (Grant, 1996). There is a long-standing discussion of the challenge inherent in the idea that the knowledge that we need to use “never exists in concentrated or integrated form, but solely as the dispersed bits of incomplete and frequently contradictory knowledge which all the separate individuals possess” (Hayek, 1945: 519).
Patrick Figge

Chapter 2. Firm Founders and Novelty

Abstract
Founders are critical to the performance of new ventures. However, recent research has started a debate on the continuing role of founders in maturing ventures. At some point, founders who stay in control of a company’s management may become a hindrance to value creation.
Patrick Figge

Chapter 3. Developing Transactive Memory Systems

Abstract
Prior research has focused on how the social exchange rule of reciprocity can incentivize cooperative behavior in organizations. However, we argue that reciprocity has costs which have so far been largely ignored and which can have an adverse impact on intra-organizational knowledge collaboration. If the costs of reciprocity are perceived to be high in an organization, potential knowledge-seekers may hesitate to ask internal experts for help. This can sub-stantially impede the development of organizational transactive memory systems. Using a unique dataset of 222 German companies, we find that the costs of reciprocity do indeed restrict the development of organizational transactive memory systems. We also theorize and find empirical evidence of ways in which organizations can counter this adverse effect: formalization of procedures for knowledge collaboration and organizational slack resources moderate the negative effect of the costs of reciprocity. Using information technology to facilitate knowledge retrieval, however, is not shown to have any effect.
Patrick Figge

Chapter 4. Transactive Memory Systems in the ‘Digital Age’

Abstract
The increasing ubiquity and the rapidly improving performance of the information, computing, communication, and connectivity technologies have fundamentally changed the way in which we process information. For the past thirty years, transactive memory systems (TMS) theory has helped us understand how individuals co-specialize and divide cognitive labor. However, the underlying assumptions of the theory no longer adequately represent the changed reality of collective information processing. Therefore, new research progress will require realigning those assumptions with technology-induced changes to reflect the onset of digitalization. As a foundation for future research, this paper proposes several conceptual changes in TMS theory. In particular, this paper investigates digitalization’s impact on boundaries of knowledge processing systems, transparency of meta-knowledge and transaction partners, and information processing capacity and demands. Implications for TMS theory are discussed, in particular for the type of cues used to infer expertise and credibility, for the scope of these inferences, and for more collective and collaborative forms of expertise assessment. Furthermore, this paper adapts and expands the structural TMS component ‘meta-knowledge’ and introduces a new process to TMS theory. Together, these changes contribute to our understanding of collective information processing in the digital age.
Patrick Figge
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