But who learns what? On the risks of knowledge accumulation through networked learning in R&D

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Title: But who learns what? On the risks of knowledge accumulation through networked learning in R&D
Authors: Kekäle, Tauno | Cervai, Sara | Gómez Bernabeu, Ana
Research Group/s: Psicología Social y Salud (PSS)
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Comunicación y Psicología Social
Keywords: Knowledge accumulation | Expertise | Learning | Software development | Agent simulation | Case study
Knowledge Area: Psicología Social | Organización de Empresas
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Trenčianska univerzita Alexandra Dubčeka
Citation: KEKÄLE, Tauno; CERVAI, Sara; GÓMEZ BERNABEU, Ana. “But who learns what? On the risks of knowledge accumulation through networked learning in R&D”. Quality Innovation Prosperity. Vol. XIII, No. 2 (2009). ISSN 1335-1745, pp. 36-47
Abstract: In big companies, managerial activities and organizational boundaries will over time hide most unevenly developed skill and knowledge distribution patterns; studying the organizations with the means of modern applied physics is thus quite difficult. People are forced to communicate along the organizational lines, and their personal preferences that could affect the communication networks are often dampened to nearly obsolete. In small companies, however, as well as other less structured non-business organizations, many network patterns exist, based on the preferred cooperation and communication behaviour of human beings, and are observable in various real-life situations. Given their free choice of either to solve the problem themselves or go to one of the colleagues to ask for help, and a preference based on the transactive memory of the organization (a word-of-mouth "reputation" information about who has the skill needed to solve the problem, or who solved the previous one with some similarity) will over time lead to most difficult problems always being solved by one or two key individuals. This paper tests this idea with an agent model to confirm the accumulation of critical knowledge to few individuals. Furthermore, the paper presents a network relation study in a 45-person software solution company. It seems the knowledge is on its way to become distributed according to power law – centralized more and more to a couple of individuals – also in the reality of this case company, even if there are not enough interactions in the five-year history of the company to prove this in a statistically significant way.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10045/16701
ISSN: 1335-1745
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Peer Review: si
Appears in Collections:INV - PSS - Artículos de Revistas

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