Intrafirm Knowledge Transfer and Employee Innovative Behavior: The Role of Total and Balanced Knowledge Flows
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AbstractResearch on intrafirm knowledge transfer has generally found a positive impact of knowledge inflows on the innovation of an organizational unit. However, the role of knowledge outflows during knowledge transfer is less clear. This paper argues that knowledge outflows influence innovation through a self- learning mechanism and a fairness assessment mechanism, and play a unique and important role on team innovation. Based on this new understanding on knowledge outflows, it is necessary to examine the impacts of inflows and outflows simultaneously in innovation research. This paper expresses the sum and difference of knowledge inflows and outflows as total and balanced knowledge flows. A theoretical model is proposed to examine the distinct and synergistic effects of total and balanced knowledge flows on employees' innovative behavior of an organizational unit. The model was tested on 148 retail units of an apparel firm based on survey responses from both shop managers and staff. Results showed that total and balanced flows have independent direct effects and a synergistic effect on employee innovative behavior: employees of a unit had the highest levels of innovative behavior when knowledge flows were high and balanced at the same time. This paper contributes to the literature by taking into account both the direction and magnitude of knowledge transfer to examine team innovation.
All Author(s) ListLai J, Lui SS, Tsang EWK
Journal nameJournal of Product Innovation Management
Volume Number33
Issue Number1
Pages90 - 103
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
Web of Science Subject CategoriesBusiness; Business & Economics; Engineering; Engineering, Industrial; Management

Last updated on 2021-16-10 at 00:25