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Managing Knowledge Integration Across Boundaries$
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Frederik Tell, Christian Berggren, Stefano Brusoni, and Andrew Van de Ven

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198785972

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198785972.001.0001

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Retrieval of Knowledge across Team Boundaries

Retrieval of Knowledge across Team Boundaries

Role of Transactive Memory Systems in a Restructuring Global Organization

(p.227) Chapter 14 Retrieval of Knowledge across Team Boundaries
Managing Knowledge Integration Across Boundaries

Sirkka L. Jarvenpaa

Yongsuk Kim

Oxford University Press

Organizational transactive memory systems, or shared organizational directories of who knows what in an organization, are a prerequisite for pooling specialized knowledge distributed across teams. Organizational restructuring can generate much turmoil in knowledge integration and disrupt organizational transactive memory systems. How do organizational actors cope with disruptions to organizational memory systems? We conducted interviews in five different locations of a global high tech company undergoing major structural change. The case study reveals that unreliable organizational transactive memory systems, attributed to inaccurate and incomplete updates of directories, delay or harm the process of knowledge integration. It also identifies several mechanisms that can increase the reliability (accuracy and completeness) of organizational directories. The mechanisms on which organizational actors rely in order to cope with inaccurate and incomplete organizational directories include patching, knowledge redundancy, social networks, and hierarchy.

Keywords:   specialized knowledge, transactive memory systems, organizational restructuring, disruptions, coping mechanisms, knowledge integration, case study, interviews

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