지식이전 선행요인에 관한 다차원 분석: 사회적 자본 이론과 사회연결망 이론의 결합
- 지식이전 선행요인에 관한 다차원 분석: 사회적 자본 이론과 사회연결망 이론의 결합
- Other Titles
- Multi-level Analysis of the Antecedents of Knowledge Transfer: Integration of Social Capital Theory and Social Network Theory
- 강민형[강민형]; 허용석
- IS Management; Multi-level Analysis; Knowledge Management; Knowledge Transfer; Social Network Analysis; Social Capital
- Issue Date
- Asia Pacific Journal of Information Systems, v.22, no.3, pp.75 - 97
- Knowledge residing in the heads of employees has always been regarded as one of the most critical resources within a firm. However, many tries to facilitate knowledge transfer among employees has been unsuccessful because of the motivational and cognitive problems between the knowledge source and the recipient. Social capital, which is defined as ”the sum of the actual and potential resources embedded within, available through, derived from the network of relationships possessed by an individual or social unit [Nahapiet and Ghoshal, 1998],” is suggested to resolve these motivational and cognitive problems of knowledge transfer.
In Social capital theory, there are two research streams. One insists that social capital strengthens group solidarity and brings up cooperative behaviors among group members, such as voluntary help to colleagues.
Therefore, social capital can motivate an expert to transfer his/her knowledge to a colleague in need without any direct reward. The other stream insists that social capital provides an access to various resources that the owner of social capital doesn't possess directly. In knowledge transfer context, an employee with social capital can access and learn much knowledge from his/her colleagues. Therefore, social capital provides benefits to both the knowledge source and the recipient in different ways. However, prior research on knowledge transfer and social capital is mostly limited to either of the research stream of social capital and covered only the knowledge source’s or the knowledge recipient’s perspective.
Social network theory which focuses on the structural dimension of social capital provides clear explanation about the in-depth mechanisms of social capital’s two different benefits. 'Strong tie' builds up identification,trust, and emotional attachment between the knowledge source and the recipient; therefore, it motivates the knowledge source to transfer his/her knowledge to the recipient. On the other hand, ‘weak tie' easily expands to 'diverse' knowledge sources because it does not take much effort to manage. Therefore, the real value of 'weak tie' comes from the 'diverse network structure,' not the 'weak tie’ itself. It implies that the two different perspectives on strength of ties can co-exist. For example, an extroverted employee can manage many 'strong' ties with 'various' colleagues. In this regards, the individual-level structure of one’s relationships as well as the dyadic-level relationship should be considered together to provide a holistic view of social capital. In addition, interaction effect between individual-level characteristics and dyadic-level characteristics can be examined, too. Based on these arguments, this study has following research questions.
(1) How does the social capital of the knowledge source and the recipient influence knowledge transfer respectively?(2) How does the strength of ties between the knowledge source and the recipient influence knowledge transfer?(3) How does the social capital of the knowledge source and the recipient influence the effect of the strength of ties between the knowledge source and the recipient on knowledge transfer?Based on Social capital theory and Social network theory, a multi-level research model is developed to consider both the individual-level social capital of the knowledge source and the recipient and the dyadic-level strength of relationship between the knowledge source and the recipient. 'Cross-classified random effect model,' one of the multi-level analysis methods, is adopted to analyze the survey responses from 337 R&D employees.
The results of analysis provide several findings. First, among three dimensions of the knowledge source’s social capital, network centrality (i.e., structural dimension) shows the significant direct effect on knowledge transfer. On the other hand, the knowledge recipient's network centrality is not influential. Instead, it strengthens the influence of the strength of ties between the knowledge source and the recipient on knowledge transfer.
It means that the knowledge source's network centrality does not directly increase knowledge transfer. Instead,by providing access to various knowledge sources, the network centrality provides only the context where the strong tie between the knowledge source and the recipient leads to effective knowledge transfer. In short, network centrality has indirect effect on knowledge transfer from the knowledge recipient's perspective,while it has direct effect from the knowledge source’s perspective. This is the most important contribution of this research. In addition, contrary to the research hypothesis, company tenure of the knowledge recipient negatively influences knowledge transfer. It means that experienced employees do not look for new knowledge and stick to their own knowledge. This is also an interesting result. One of the possible reasons is the hierarchical culture of Korea, such as a fear of losing face in front of subordinates.
In a research methodology perspective, multi-level analysis adopted in this study seems to be very promising in management research area which has a multi-level data structure, such as employee-team-department-company. In addition, social network analysis is also a promising research approach with an exploding availability of online social network data.
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