Establishing a high-technology knowledge transfer network: The practical and symbolic roles of identification
Bond, Edward U., III
Houston, Mark B.
Tang, Yihui (Elina)
MetadataShow full item record
Knowledge transfer networks (KTNs) are composed of interconnected firms, government entities, and research organizations that play a critical role in the funding, development, and dissemination of knowledge in high-technology industries. Despite the common use of KTNs in situations that require technology inputs spanning multiple firms, little research has examined the start-up of KTNs and the marketing literature has essentially ignored them. Using social network, social identity, and relevant attribution and motivation theories, the authors build a conceptual model that explains key outcomes of start-up KTNs. A preliminary empirical investigation of a UK-wide KTN start-up finds evidence that social identification with the network is a key moderating mechanism. Identification plays a practical role in creating positive knowledge-transfer benefits for firms that are central in the KTN's social network. Identification also plays a symbolic role by affecting participants' perceptions of overall KTN performance in light of knowledge-transfer benefits that they received, and as an antecedent to affective commitment to the KTN.