Inderscience Publishers

The use of knowledge in inter-organisational knowledge-networks: an empirical investigation

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In the realm of a global knowledge-based economy, inter-organisational knowledge-networks (IOKNs) are increasingly established with the aim of producing, using and disseminating new knowledge. Investigating into IOKNs, first, an initial theoretical foundation is offered on the basis of the economics of knowledge and the organisational network approach. Subsequently, several hypotheses are derived concerning the use of the knowledge-output in this specific organisational mode. These are tested against the data obtained from a questionnaire survey sent to 3,523 scientific and business addressees. The results show that regulations concerning the use of knowledge depend on the partner-structure and the kind of research performed in IOKNs. However, other theoretical predictions concerning the effects of the degree of diversity of the partners and the specific characteristics of knowledge on the rules for the use of the knowledge output could not be confirmed. In addition to an interpretation of these results, recommendations for further research are also derived.

Keywords: inter-organisational knowledge networks, knowledge economics, knowledge production, research types, network approach, network actor diversity, network permeability, knowledge based economy, globalisation, knowledge management

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