Intercultural Knowledge Flows in Edge Organizations: Trust as an Enabler
STANFORD UNIV CA TERMAN ENGINEERING CENTER
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This paper investigates the dynamics of intercultural knowledge flows in Edge Organizations. We seek to understand how cultural differences and dynamic environments affect Edge and other organizational forms where knowledge flows are critical. Drawing on the organizational studies, social psychological, and sociological literatures, we examine how the Edge form accommodates and exacerbates cultural differences e.g., across military services and coalition partners and knowledge flows. A major factor that emerges as an enabler of knowledge flows, especially in dynamic environments such as those in which Edge organizations operate, is trust. While trust holds great promise in enabling knowledge flows in Edge organizations, it is very challenging to achieve. The two conditions necessary for trust a long history of acquaintance and similarity among constituents are often missing in Edge organizations. Given that trust is crucial to efficient functioning, we view this as a serious problem and set out to better understand how trust can be generated in Edge organizations. In this paper, we lay out the theoretical grounding for our efforts and begin to sketch an agenda for research in the coming months.
- Information Science
- Computer Systems
- Operations Research