• Agnieszka Marek Faculty of Social Sciences, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin
  • Kalina Grzesiuk Faculty of Social Sciences, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin
Keywords: knowledge management, diffusion of knowledge, organizational culture, social networks


Diffusion of knowledge is recognized as one of the key factors that determines organizational success in the knowledge-based economy. The research problem concerns the way social networks and organizational culture may influence knowledge sharing among the agents in general. This article presents the review and critical analysis of literature on the diffusion of knowledge from network and cultural perspective. The results of the research show that both social networks and organizational culture might support the flow of knowledge in different ways. The quality and quantity of organizational knowledge depend on different ties between employees, organizational departments, and between an organization and its environment. The conditions for diffusion of knowledge are provided by the knowledge culture, which differs depending on choosing codification or personalization as leading strategy of knowledge management, as well as on set of key organizational values.


Ahuja, G. (2000). Collaboration networks, structural holes, and innovation: A longitudinal study. Administrative Science Quarterly, 45, 425–455. doi: 10.2307/2667105

Batenburg, R. S., Raub, W., & Snijders, C. (2003). Contacts and contracts: dyadic embeddedness and the contractual behavior of firms. Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 20(1), 135-188. doi: 10.1016/S0733-558X(02)20006-3

Boone, T., & Ganeshan, R. (2008). Knowledge acquisition and transfer among engineers: Effects of network structure. Managerial and Decision Economics, 29(5), 459–468. doi:10.1002/mde.1401

Brass, D., Galaskiewicz, J., & Greve, H. (2004). Taking stock of networks and organizations: A multilevel perspective. Academy of Management Journal, 47(6), 795–817. doi: 10.2307/20159624

Cameron, K. S., & Quinn, R. E. (2011). Diagnosing and changing organizational culture: Based on the competing values framework. John Wiley & Sons.

Cowan, R., & Jonard, N. (2004). Network structure and the diffusion of knowledge. Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, 28(8), 1557–1575. doi:10.1016/j.jedc.2003.04.002

Davenport, T. H., & Prusak, L. (1998). What do we talk about when we talk about knowledge. Working knowledge: How organizations manage what they know.

Galaskiewicz, J. (1985). Interorganizational relations. Annual review of sociology, 281-304. doi: 10.1146/annurev.so.11.080185.001433

Gammelgaard, J., & Ritter, T. (2005). The knowledge retrieval matrix: codification and personification as separate strategies. Journal of Knowledge Management, 9(4), 133-143. doi: 10.1108/13673270510610387

Granovetter, M. S. (1973). The strength of weak ties. American journal of sociology, 1360-1380. doi: 10.1086/225469

Hansen, M. T. (1999). The Search-Transfer Problem: The Role of Weak Ties in Sharing Knowledge across Organization Subunits. Administrative Science Quarterly, 44(1), 82. doi: 10.2307/2667032

Hansen, M. T., Mors, M. L., & Løvås, B. (2005). Knowledge sharing in organizations: Multiple networks, multiple phases. Academy of Management Journal, 48(5), 776–793. doi: 10.5465/AMJ.2005.18803922

Hansen, M. T., Noria, N., & Tierney, T. (1999). What’s Your Strategy for Managing Knowledge? Harvard Business Review, 77(2), 106-116.

Hansen, B., & Nørbjerg, J. (2005). Codification or Personalisation-a simple choice. In Proceedings of the 28th Information systems Research seminar In Scandinavia, Kristiansand, Norway.

Jahn, K., & Nielsen, P. A. (2012). A Vertical Approach to Knowledge Management: Codification and Personalization. Enhancing the Modern Organization through Information Technology Professionals: Research, Studies, and Techniques: Research, Studies, and Techniques, 216.

Krackhardt, D. (1992). The strength of strong ties: The importance of philos in organizations. In N. Nohria & N. E. Friedkin (Eds.), Networks and organizations: Structure, form, and action, 216- 239.

Larsson, R., Bengtsson, L., Henriksson, K., & Sparks, J. (1998). The Interorganizational Learning Dilemma: Collective Knowledge Development in Strategic Alliances. Organization Science, 9(3), 285–305. doi: 10.1287/orsc.9.3.285

Lazarsfeld, P. F., & Merton, R. K. (1954). Friendship as a social process: A substantive and methodological analysis. Freedom and control in modern society, 18(1), 18-66.

Levin, D. Z., Cross, R., Abrams, L. C., & Lesser, E. L. (2002). Trust and knowledge sharing: A critical combination. IBM Institute for Knowledge-Based Organizations, 1-9.

Levin, D., & Cross, R. (2004). The strength of weak ties you can trust: The mediating role of trust in effective knowledge transfer. Management Science, 50(11), 1477–1490. doi: 10.1287/mnsc.1030.0136

Lincoln, J. R., & Miller, J. (1979). Work and Friendship Ties in Organizations: A Comparative Analysis of Relation Networks. Administrative Science Quarterly, 24(2), 181–199. doi: 10.2307/2392493

Marek A. (2010). Rola kultury organizacyjnej w tworzeniu i upowszechnianiu wiedzy [The role of organizational culture in the creation and dissemination of knowledge. Knowledge]. Wiedza. Między słowem a obrazem. M. Zemło, A. Jabłoński, J. Szymczyk (ed.), Lublin: Wydawnictwo KUL, 267-280.

Marek A. (2011), Kultura wiedzy jako czynnik wspomagający rozwój zawodowy urzędników. [Culture of knowledge as a factor enhancing the professional development of officials]. Nowe tendencje w zarządzaniu, t. II [New trends in management, vol. II]. M. Pawlak (ed.), Lublin: Wydawnictwo KUL, 239-254.

Oh, H., Chung, M.-H., & Labianca, G. (2004). Group Social Capital and Group Effectiveness: the Role of Informal Socializing Ties. Academy of Management Journal, 47(6), 860–875. doi: 10.2307/20159627

Powell, W. W. (1990). Neither Market nor Hierarchy: Network Forms of Organization. Research in Organizational Behavior, 12, 295–336.

Scarbrough, H., & Swan, J. (2001). Explaining the diffusion of knowledge management: The role of fashion. British Journal of Management, 12(1), 3–12. doi: 10.1111/1467-8551.00182

Scheepers, Rens, Krishna Venkitachalam, and Martin R. Gibbs. (2004). Knowledge strategy in organizations: refining the model of Hansen, Nohria and Tierney. The Journal of Strategic Information Systems 13.3: 201-222.

Sveiby, K. E., & Simons, R. (2002). Collaborative climate and effectiveness of knowledge work-an empirical study. Journal of Knowledge Management, 6(5), 420-433. doi: 10.1108/13673270210450388

Tsai, W., & Ghoshal, S. (1998). Social capital and value creation: The role of intrafirm networks. Academy of Management Journal, 41(4), 464–476. doi: 10.2307/257085

Uzzi, B. (1997). Social structure and competition in interfirm networks: The paradox of embeddedness. Administrative science quarterly, 35-67. doi: 10.2307/2393808

Wejnert, B. (2002). Integrating Models of Diffusion of Innovations: A Conceptual Framework. Annual Review of Sociology, 28(1), 297–326. doi: 10.1146/annurev.soc.28.110601.

Wenger, E., McDermott, R. A., & Snyder, W. (2002). Cultivating communities of practice: A guide to managing knowledge. Harvard Business Press.