The Effect of Organizational Separation on Individuals’ Knowledge Sharing in MNCs

Angels Dasi, Torben Pedersen, Paul N. Gooderham, Frank Elter, Jarle Hildrum

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    The ability of an organization to apply knowledge globally has been conceptualized as critical for the existence of multinational corporations (MNCs). We argue for an organizational separation effect on knowledge sharing that challenges the view of the MNC as a latent social community. Using a unique data-set of more than 4000 individual responses from an MNC, Telenor, we test how three types of drivers for individuals’ knowledge sharing – individuals’ motivation, and individuals’ perceptions of organizational values and organizational work practices – work differently within, as opposed to across, business units. Our analysis suggests that while intrinsic motivation, innovative values and job autonomy are relatively important drivers of knowledge sharing within the business units, extrinsic motivation, result-oriented values and participation in corporate employee development are relatively more important for knowledge sharing across business units.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of World Business
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)431–446
    Number of pages16
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • Knowledge sharing
    • Internal boundaries
    • Business units
    • Motivation
    • Organizational work practices
    • Organizational values

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