When it comes to innovation, what works better: formal organizational structures or informal network ties between employees? According to this Idea, which stresses the strength of social ties as having important implications for knowledge sharing, it is the latter. Organizations can improve their knowledge sharing by following a few core strategies. Ultimately, this may also facilitate better conditions for innovation as well, invaluable in today’s competitive business environment.
Companies have spent increasing amounts on social media and ICT (information and communication technology) in recent years, demonstrating their interest in keeping up with the rapid pace of technological development. However, are they also dedicating equal effort to understanding the factors that actually drive an individual’s willingness and ability to share knowledge? Apparently not, according to Professor Marco Tortoriello, who suggests that managers must look beyond formal organizational structures to informal network ties and relationships instead. Moreover, these informal networks should be bolstered and strengthened.
There are four factors, or essential elements that play a part in the successful acquisition of knowledge via social networks:
So, how can executives use their understanding of the factors above to harness the talent of their workforce? Tortoriello points to four strategies:
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