There is a widely held generalisation that knowledge creation is a consequence of social interaction. However, sociology has taught us that interaction is not as simple as it seems, and that we exhibit preferences for those with whom we interact, thus placing boundaries on the knowledge we create. One robust explanation for increased or reduced interaction is the perception of similarity or dissimilarity. One such similarity/dissimilarity is our individual preferences for problem-solving approaches. In order to describe the influence of individual problem-solving preferences on communication and knowledge sharing, the results of a study in l i f e - science and ICT technical teams are presented in this article. At a team level of analysis it was shown that the greater the diversity of problem-solving styles in a group the less interaction and therefore the less knowledge sharing. Similarly, at an individual level of analysis the greater the cognitive gap between individuals the less the interaction. It was also observed that influential clusters based on problem-solving style preferences form within teams, thus dominating the information and advice. The management implications of these findings are discussed.



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