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    Knowledge Diffusion in R&D Groups: The Impact of Internet Technologies


    Whelan, E. and Ahonen, M. and Donnellan, Brian (2008) Knowledge Diffusion in R&D Groups: The Impact of Internet Technologies. In: ECIS 2008 Proceedings. European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS) at AIS Electronic Library (AISeL).

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    Abstract

    Knowledge flows are the lifeblood of any R&D organisation. These firms are increasingly discovering that the knowledge they require is often located beyond their boundaries. In this paper, we investigate how R&D groups acquire and diffuse external knowledge and the role Internet technologies play in this process. The focus of our study is on the technological gatekeeper. Previous studies have found that gatekeepers are key nodes in the innovation process. These sporadic individuals have the skills to identify useful knowledge outside the firm and disseminate this among their local colleagues. However, much of the seminal gatekeeper research has been conducted over two decades ago. In the time since, there have been huge advances in ICT and especially Internet technologies. These technologies have dramatically altered how knowledge workers source and share their information. Our objective is to advance the gatekeeper theory into an era where the knowledge worker is saturated with information. Using case study methods, we examine knowledge flows in the R&D group of an Irish medical devices firm. Our results indicate that due to advances in Internet technology, the traditional gatekeeper no longer exists to any great extent. Instead, the modern R&D lab acquires and diffuses external knowledge through a combination of a ‘web gatekeeper’ and a ‘knowledge transformer.’

    Item Type: Book Section
    Additional Information: Cite as: Whelan, E.; Ahonen, M.; and Donnellan, B., "Knowledge Diffusion in R&D Groups: The Impact of Internet Technologies" (2008). ECIS 2008 Proceedings. 150. https://aisel.aisnet.org/ecis2008/150
    Keywords: Technological gatekeeper; knowledge management; open innovation; internet; web 2.0;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Business
    Item ID: 10813
    Depositing User: Prof. Brian Donnellan
    Date Deposited: 24 May 2019 13:43
    Publisher: European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS) at AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
    Refereed: Yes
    URI:

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