Globally Networked: Intraorganizational Boundary Spanning in the Global Organization

Torben Pedersen, Giuseppe Soda, Diego Stea

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Multinational corporations (MNCs) need to sense, source, and mobilize knowledge when and where it arises, whether at home, or elsewhere in the world. For this reason, MNCs benefit from employee networks of relationships that span across intraorganizational barriers, allowing for the efficient mobilization of knowledge across boundaries. Yet, which organizational members are more likely to be able to develop these boundary spanning networks? We leverage a unique data set from a large multinational corporation to empirically test a comprehensive model that captures the effect of an employee’s mandate, expertise, and behavioral orientations on her likelihood to span intraorganizational boundaries that manifest themselves in the form of hierarchies, intra-functional domains, and geographic territories. We find that the employees that are more likely to be boundary spanners are those having mandates with a global impact, high levels of expertise, and a collaborative orientation in their networking behaviors. In addition, we find that these effects are stronger for those employees that have large formal workflow networks.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of World Business
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)169-180
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Boundary spanning
  • Multinational corporations
  • Social networks
  • Knowledge mobilization

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