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Knowledge sharing in knowledge collectivity: case digitalization in industrial network

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 18th European Conference on Knowledge Management ECKM 2017
Subtitle of host publication7-8 September 2017, Barcelona, Spain
EditorsFrederic Marimon, Marta Mas-Machuca, Jasmina Berbegal-Mirabent, Ramon Bastida
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-911218-49-4
ISBN (Print)978-1-911218-48-7
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2017
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventEuropean conference on knowledge management -
Duration: 1 Jan 1900 → …


ConferenceEuropean conference on knowledge management
Period1/01/00 → …


Knowledge sharing (KS) in the inter-organizational setting is not widely researched area. However, in temporary organizations such as projects, sharing expert knowledge is essential and may take place in knowledge collectivities, i.e., Collectivities of Practices (ClP). Due to ClPs’ often temporary nature, time and socialization are lacking, thus efficient KS practices are required. The complexity of projects may also necessitate ClPs to cross organization boundaries, forming inter-organizational ClPs, IO-ClPs. Therefore, a better understanding of intra-organizational practices overlapping inter-organizational KS is called for. This paper contemplates on who should participate and how the process of boundary spanning KS should be put into practice in IO-ClP context. We present a case of a network-dependent focal company aiming to form a new digitalization strategy, which requires boundary-spanning knowledge management (KM) approaches. We concentrate both on intra- and inter-organizational steps needed for developing a digitalization roadmap eventually encompassing the whole network. Based on case observations we conclude that KS in industrial IO-ClP context involves multiple internal and external stakeholders, which also play facilitating roles in KS process. The results also reveal that it is possible to achieve KS in a larger group with a stepwise, well-facilitated and goal-oriented approach that involves experts into practices gradually. Additionally, complex phenomena in industrial networks, such as digitalization, requires other processes of KM besides KS: knowledge transfer for explicit knowledge and knowledge creation at the network level, too. Thus, in IO-ClP setting, KM processes of the company and network should be approached holistically, aiming at an overall view. The results shed light on KS in inter-organizational setting, particularly the overlap between intra-organizational practices and inter-organizational KS within knowledge collectivities. We contribute to boundary spanning inter-organizational KS by adding a description of the KS practices in ClPs, which is based on the theory of social constructivism of knowledge, and expand the viewpoint of the ClP-concept also towards inter-organizational setting.

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland