Title

A CURVILINEAR MODEL OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN KNOWLEDGE DIVERSITY AND KNOWLEDGE CREATION

Abstract

Although organizational knowledge creation is a significant means by which companies generate value and derive competitive advantage, little is known about the knowledge creation process within corporations. A review of the literature uncovered an apparent disagreement pertaining to the relationship between knowledge diversity and knowledge creation. Specifically, one body of literature argues that knowledge creation correlates positively with knowledge diversity, suggesting that knowledge creation is maximized when knowledge diversity is maximized. Another body of literature, however, indicates that a high level of knowledge diversity restrains knowledge creation because it interferes with a group’s ability to communicate and collaborate. In this paper, the two bodies of literature are reviewed and a model that attempts to further the dialogue regarding the relationship between the variables is presented. Unlike prior models that claim the relationship between the variables to be linear, the model presented in this paper proposes that the relationship between the variables is curvilinear. Specifically, the model advances the concept that a moderate level of knowledge diversity promotes knowledge creation while high and low levels of knowledge diversity restrain knowledge creation. Implications and future research directions are presented.

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