Department of Management

Knowledge brokering: Spanning technological and network boundaries

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine how the spanning of inter-organizational weak
ties and technological boundaries influences knowledge brokering.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on original fieldwork and employs a case
study research design, investigating a Danish HTSF’s inter-organizational activities.
Findings – The findings show how an inter-organizational search that crosses technological
boundaries and is based on a network structure of weak ties can imply a reduced risk of unwanted
knowledge spill-over.
Research limitations/implications – By not engaging in strong tie collaborations a knowledge
brokering organization can reduce the risk of unwanted knowledge spill-over. The risks and
opportunities of knowledge spill-over furthermore rely on the nature of the technology involved and to
what extent technological boundaries are crossed.
Practical implications – An organization that can span both technological boundaries and weak
ties is in a unique knowledge brokering position. The findings indicate how the barriers of an open
transfer of complex knowledge across weak ties can be partially overcome by letting an R&D
department be the networking department.
Originality/value – Very little research has examined the organizational processes at stake when
spanning organizational, technological and network boundaries.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Innovation Management
Pages (from-to)74-92
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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