Social Networks and Organizational Performance: Exploring the Quality of Domain Knowledge Sources

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Freeze, Ronald
Sasidharan, Sharath
Schmidt, Pam
Washburn University. School of Business
Kaw Valley Bank
Issue Date
July 2013
Alternative Title
For sustained performance in a dynamic market environment, individuals within an organization must operate in a social network (SN) that promotes knowledge exchanges, encourages knowledge acquisition, and facilitates dissemination of domain knowledge pertinent to the execution of job-related tasks. Research on Knowledge Social Networks (KSN) has hitherto focused on interpersonal social network structures and its impact on knowledge outcomes with little attention being paid to the quality of domain knowledge possessed by knowledge sources and the value of resultant knowledge flows. This paper evaluates the quality of knowledge sources used in the social network by robustly measuring knowledge structures, the underlying foundation of conceptual knowledge. A field of study of a simulated market environment with competing organizations found the KSN to be central in explaining organizational performance. However, its interplay with the domain knowledge structure of knowledge sources provided deeper insights into its link with organizational success.