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Influence of social network positions on knowledge sharing within the organization: A case study
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Computer Science, Physics and Mathematics.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In today’s turbulent business circumstance, organizations’ ability to sustain their growth and competitive advantage depends on how well they manage their capital of knowledge. Recognizing that knowledge is a key factor to the success of the company, companies are evolving practices to facilitate the creation, acquisition, storage, utilization, especially the sharing of knowledge assets.


The theoretical problem of this paper is that the change of organizational model, which is more flexible, team-oriented and more reliant on knowledge assets, has influenced nowadays organizations deeply. Another development is the discovery of the importance of the organizational informal structure, which coexists with the organizational formal structure. Employees within organizations interact with each other not only in a myriad of ways, but also in a way of social relationships. However, with this shift of today’s organizations to more-organic, network-like structures, there is a great need to understand how knowledge is shared within these structures and how to manage it.


The aim of this paper concludes with the insights of how employees’ network positions are related to knowledge sharing within the organization, and how the organization could better leverage individual in these critical positions, so to ensure that knowledge in organization shared with unobstructed communication, cooperation, and reduce the costs of bridging inside the organization.


This study is a case study conducted in a Swedish company with a qualitative research strategy based on the structural holes theory, and 12 employees were interviewed. The empirical findings are that we found senior manager becomes peripheral, fear of losing power makes knowledge sharing baffling, and the hub position in network is a double-edged sword, which means that the employees’ network positions may bring competitive advantages for the employees or the whole organization, but sometimes it may press employees in a hub position too much.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 66 p.
Keyword [en]
Knowledge sharing, Network position, Knowledge management, Structural holes
National Category
Information Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-14086OAI: diva2:440494
Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics
Available from: 2011-09-13 Created: 2011-09-13 Last updated: 2011-09-13Bibliographically approved

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