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ERIC Number: EJ1006093
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 51
ISSN: ISSN-0969-6474
Understanding the Role of Representation in Interorganizational Knowledge Integration: A Case Study of an IT Outsourcing Project
Werr, Andreas; Runsten, Philip
Learning Organization, v20 n2 p118-133 2013
Purpose: The current paper aims at contributing to the understanding of interorganizational knowledge integration by highlighting the role of individuals' understandings of the task and how they shape knowledge integrating behaviours. Design/methodology/approach: The paper presents a framework of knowledge integration as heedful interrelating. Knowledge integration is conceptualized as help seeking, help giving and reflective reframing, and the paper discusses how these knowledge integrating behaviors are shaped by actors' representations of the situation and their role in it. The framework is illustrated and refined in relation to a qualitative case study of an IT outsourcing project. Findings: Narrow and separating representations of actors' roles, partly based on institutionalized ideas of the proper behaviors of "buyers" and "suppliers", impede knowledge integration. Such representations render the knowledge integrating behaviors help seeking, help giving and reflective reframing illegitimate. Research limitations/implications: Results call for attention to actors' representations of the situation and their role in it in order to understand knowledge integration. The interorganizational setting, with its institutionalized roles, provides unique challenges that need to be investigated further. As findings are based on a single case study, further research needs to extend the findings to other kinds of interorganizational collaboration. Originality/value: The paper adds to the understanding of interorganizational knowledge integration by drawing attention to the importance of individual actors' representations and behaviors. Hereby, the dominant organizational and network levels of analysis in the literature on interorganizational knowledge integration are complemented by an individual level of analysis. (Contains 2 figures and 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A