Date: August 2016
Creator: Acharya, Chandan
Description: Faced with the challenges to addressing the novelties of the changing business environments (e.g., new customer requirement, changes in customers taste and preferences, the introduction of new products or services by competitors), organizations seek to build collaboration among their employees who possess complementary knowledge. Integrating complementary knowledge enhances employees' ability to address environmental challenges and foster innovation. Despite the importance of knowledge integration for innovation, integration of such knowledge becomes difficult when employees lack a shared understanding of knowledge, and when the knowledge is newly generated. Because new knowledge is tacit in nature and highly personal to a particular individual, it is difficult to articulate, making knowledge integration (KI) an arduous task. Lack of shared understanding, the presence of new knowledge, and lack of common interests in employees creates three types of knowledge boundaries – syntactic (information processing) boundaries, semantic (interpretive) boundaries, and pragmatic (political) boundaries. The presence of knowledge boundaries makes it difficult for employees to share and access their knowledge with each other. To overcome the challenges related to the knowledge boundaries, employees use boundary-spanning objects, which are common lexicons, common meaning, and common interests, to share and access their knowledge across the boundaries. Although prior studies have ...
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