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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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Relating Knowledge Integration and Absorptive Capacity

Relating Knowledge Integration and Absorptive Capacity

Knowledge Boundaries and Reflective Agency in Path-Dependent Processes

(p.57) Chapter 4 Relating Knowledge Integration and Absorptive Capacity
Managing Knowledge Integration Across Boundaries

Christian Berggren

Jörg Sydow

Fredrik Tell

Oxford University Press

Absorptive capacity and knowledge integration are key concepts in knowledge-based analyses of firms. Knowledge integration focuses on knowledge scope and integration of differentiated knowledge; absorptive capacity refers to knowledge evolution in path-dependent processes and how a firm’s prior knowledge supports and constrains future search. The chapter discusses the problems of boundaries and change in these concepts, relating them to the literature on organizational path-dependence and dynamic capabilities. Three agency options are suggested: boundary reproduction (path-dependence), boundary crossing (path extension), and new boundary configuration (path creation). The chapter offers a synthesis in which change may originate and involve knowledge-based agencies at different social levels: executive and non-executive levels (internal to the organization) and community of practitioners and organizational field (external to the organization).

Keywords:   knowledge integration, absorptive capacity, knowledge scope, knowledge evolution, dynamic capabilities, organizational path-dependence, path extension, path creation, agency

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