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Statistics, Social sciences, Interdisciplinary
We examine the conditions under which knowledge embedded in advice relations is likely to reach across intraorganizational boundaries and be shared between distant organizational members. We emphasize boundary-crossing relations because activities of knowledge transfer and sharing across subunit boundaries are systematically related to desirable organizational outcomes. Our main objective is to understand how organizational and social processes interact to sustain the transfer of knowledge carried by advice relations. Using original fieldwork and data that we have collected on members of the top management team in a multiunit industrial group, we show that knowledge embedded in task advice relations is unlikely to crosscut intra- organizational boundaries, unless advice relations are reciprocated, and supported by the pres- ence of hierarchical relations linking managers in different subunits. The results we report are based on a novel Bayesian Exponential Random Graph Models (BERGMs) framework that allows us to test and assess the empirical value of our hypotheses while at the same time accounting for structural characteristics of the intraorganizational network of advice relations. We rely on computational and simulation methods to establish the consistency of the network implied by the model we propose with the structure of the intraorganizational network that we actually observed.
Caimo, A. and Lomi, A. (2015), "Knowledge Sharing in Organisations: a Bayesian Analysis of the Role of Reciprocity and Formal Structure," Journal of Management (Special Issue on Bayesian Statistics in Management Research), 41(2), 665 – 691, 2015 doi:10.1177/0149206314552192