Affiliated Organization

Case Western Reserve University, USA


Our study examines the knowledge sharing at a global polymer manufacturing company during its post merger integration period. Drawing on the two opposing views on knowledge in organizations—knowledge-as-object and knowledge-as-relationship—and growing recognition in the literature that deliberate and formalized knowledge sharing approaches may not exactly mirror what is going on in the organization in its daily knowledge sharing, we propose a two by two conceptual framework. Through this conceptual lens, we examined the deliberate and emergent knowledge sharing patterns in post merger integration. We found that while the company’s formal deliberate knowledge sharing approach focuses on codification approach, employees rely on both codification and personalization approaches, thus skillfully enacting hybrid knowledge sharing patterns. Drawing on a distributed perspective of knowledge in organizations, we theorize that such hybrid knowledge sharing patterns were necessary to connect two large webs of knowledge at two companies recently merged. Our results challenge spurious separations of knowledge-as-object and knowledge-as-relationship.