Improving organizational creativity is not an easy task. According to the interactionist perspective drawn by Woodman et al. (1993), it requires several aspects to be taken into account, such as the creative process, the creative product, the creative person, and the creative situation, as all of them interact with each other in determining creativity. Extant research offers some evidence highlighting the inherent complexity of organizational creativity, by investigating the importance of a knowledge-sharing culture (Chen et al., 2014) as well as of contextual factors, such as organizational (Baer and Oldham, 2006) and technological factors (Lindič et al., 2011). However, results reported are fragmented. In an attempt to extend prior research, we found that while intra-organizational knowledge-sharing processes are vital to organizational creativity, contextual influences may be detrimental. Over the years companies’ memes have switched from “if only we knew what we know” (e.g. O’Dell and Grayson, 1998) to “if only we shared what we know” (e.g. Majchrzak et al., 2012). Our investigation acknowledges the importance of understanding the relationship between collecting knowledge from others and organizational creativity, as interpersonal dynamics are often the ultimate mechanisms essential to producing new ideas (Brown and Duguid, 1991; He et al., 2014; West, 2002). Despite the abundance of studies, little is yet known with regard to the interaction effect among knowledge collecting, contextual influences and organization-level creativity. Accordingly, our aim is to address the following research question: “What is the relationship between knowledge collecting, ICT use and top-management support in determining organizational creativity?” To test our hypotheses, we analyze survey data of 362 employees operating in the subsidiaries of five multinational corporations (MNCs) located in Italy. The relevance of this empirical setting to our study is consistent with the idea that MNCs’ subsidiaries generally embed both the technical and the social elements for analyzing knowledge sharing, its effects, and contextual influences (e.g. Gupta and Govindarajan, 2000; Zaidman and Brock, 2009). Our data show that while knowledge collecting is strongly and positively associated with organizational creativity, high ICT use surprisingly negatively moderates the relationship between knowledge collecting and the dependent variable, while top-management support does not show a significant moderating effect on the association between knowledge collecting and organizational creativity. In so doing, this paper attempts to extend prior research on organizational creativity (e.g. Gumusluoglu and Ilsev, 2009; Woodman et al., 1993) by combining the joint effect of internal circulation of ideas and knowledge with contextual influences. Therefore, it contributes by providing more empirical evidence likely to capture the inherent complexity of organizational creativity, by conceiving of it as a function of the creative results of individuals interacting and sharing their knowledge with others while being exposed to both hard and soft contextual factors.

To share or not to share: How knowledge collecting fosters organizational creativity / Lombardi, Sara; Giustiniano, Luca; Cavaliere, Vincenzo. - (2016). ((Intervento presentato al convegno 22nd Annual Organization Science Winter Conference (OSWCXXII) tenutosi a Park City, Utah, USA nel February 4-7, 2016.

To share or not to share: How knowledge collecting fosters organizational creativity

LOMBARDI, SARA;GIUSTINIANO, LUCA;
2016

Abstract

Improving organizational creativity is not an easy task. According to the interactionist perspective drawn by Woodman et al. (1993), it requires several aspects to be taken into account, such as the creative process, the creative product, the creative person, and the creative situation, as all of them interact with each other in determining creativity. Extant research offers some evidence highlighting the inherent complexity of organizational creativity, by investigating the importance of a knowledge-sharing culture (Chen et al., 2014) as well as of contextual factors, such as organizational (Baer and Oldham, 2006) and technological factors (Lindič et al., 2011). However, results reported are fragmented. In an attempt to extend prior research, we found that while intra-organizational knowledge-sharing processes are vital to organizational creativity, contextual influences may be detrimental. Over the years companies’ memes have switched from “if only we knew what we know” (e.g. O’Dell and Grayson, 1998) to “if only we shared what we know” (e.g. Majchrzak et al., 2012). Our investigation acknowledges the importance of understanding the relationship between collecting knowledge from others and organizational creativity, as interpersonal dynamics are often the ultimate mechanisms essential to producing new ideas (Brown and Duguid, 1991; He et al., 2014; West, 2002). Despite the abundance of studies, little is yet known with regard to the interaction effect among knowledge collecting, contextual influences and organization-level creativity. Accordingly, our aim is to address the following research question: “What is the relationship between knowledge collecting, ICT use and top-management support in determining organizational creativity?” To test our hypotheses, we analyze survey data of 362 employees operating in the subsidiaries of five multinational corporations (MNCs) located in Italy. The relevance of this empirical setting to our study is consistent with the idea that MNCs’ subsidiaries generally embed both the technical and the social elements for analyzing knowledge sharing, its effects, and contextual influences (e.g. Gupta and Govindarajan, 2000; Zaidman and Brock, 2009). Our data show that while knowledge collecting is strongly and positively associated with organizational creativity, high ICT use surprisingly negatively moderates the relationship between knowledge collecting and the dependent variable, while top-management support does not show a significant moderating effect on the association between knowledge collecting and organizational creativity. In so doing, this paper attempts to extend prior research on organizational creativity (e.g. Gumusluoglu and Ilsev, 2009; Woodman et al., 1993) by combining the joint effect of internal circulation of ideas and knowledge with contextual influences. Therefore, it contributes by providing more empirical evidence likely to capture the inherent complexity of organizational creativity, by conceiving of it as a function of the creative results of individuals interacting and sharing their knowledge with others while being exposed to both hard and soft contextual factors.
Knowledge sharing, organizational creativity, organization design
To share or not to share: How knowledge collecting fosters organizational creativity / Lombardi, Sara; Giustiniano, Luca; Cavaliere, Vincenzo. - (2016). ((Intervento presentato al convegno 22nd Annual Organization Science Winter Conference (OSWCXXII) tenutosi a Park City, Utah, USA nel February 4-7, 2016.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11385/157948
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