Expanding organisational knowledge online: the role of bridging members in knowledge expansion in online groups

Bas Reus*, Christine Moser, Peter Groenewegen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In this paper we hypothesise about the role of bridging members – people who connect otherwise unconnected online groups – on an enterprise social network (ESN) and in what manner their role affects their group’s knowledge expansion. Analysing data from an ESN of a Dutch health insurance company, we show how online groups can benefit from their bridging members who take advantage of the affordances of the digital platform. We find that a larger proportion of bridging members within a group mitigates the decrease in knowledge expansion over time. This research contributes to the literature on online knowledge sharing and social networks by showing the effect of bridging members on knowledge expansion in a digital environment. Our study has implications for organisations who want to leverage knowledge sharing for innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalInnovation: Organization & Management
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • digital platforms
  • knowledge sharing
  • knowledge expansion
  • brokerage
  • social networks
  • bridging members
  • digital affordances
  • enterprise social networks
  • multiple team membership

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