Cognitive proximity in international research groups

Cognitive proximity in international research groups Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop the concept of cognitive proximity, by studying it as a process in groups and dissecting how cognitive proximity is related to knowledge creation that results, for example, in articles and technological applications. Cognitive proximity, i.e. similar knowledge bases, is essential in creating knowledge in groups whose members have different professional and cultural backgrounds, which is often the case in internationalizing universities and companies. Design/methodology/approach – The case study includes four top‐level international academic groups from Finnish universities that have a foreign leader. The groups were followed from 2007‐2009. Interviews and diaries are analysed using mental mapping. Findings – According to the results, cognitive proximity is achieved through cooperation and suitable tasks. Knowledge is created during cognitive friction – when members are becoming cognitively proximate through knowledge base content, but developing a cognitive distance through a knowledge base structure. Originality/value – This paper is one of the earliest efforts to study cognitive proximity as a process in groups. Cognitive proximity has especially raised interest in the fields of knowledge management and economic geography. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Knowledge Management Emerald Publishing

Cognitive proximity in international research groups

Journal of Knowledge Management, Volume 15 (4): 24 – Jul 19, 2011

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1367-3270
DOI
10.1108/13673271111151983
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop the concept of cognitive proximity, by studying it as a process in groups and dissecting how cognitive proximity is related to knowledge creation that results, for example, in articles and technological applications. Cognitive proximity, i.e. similar knowledge bases, is essential in creating knowledge in groups whose members have different professional and cultural backgrounds, which is often the case in internationalizing universities and companies. Design/methodology/approach – The case study includes four top‐level international academic groups from Finnish universities that have a foreign leader. The groups were followed from 2007‐2009. Interviews and diaries are analysed using mental mapping. Findings – According to the results, cognitive proximity is achieved through cooperation and suitable tasks. Knowledge is created during cognitive friction – when members are becoming cognitively proximate through knowledge base content, but developing a cognitive distance through a knowledge base structure. Originality/value – This paper is one of the earliest efforts to study cognitive proximity as a process in groups. Cognitive proximity has especially raised interest in the fields of knowledge management and economic geography.

Journal

Journal of Knowledge ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 19, 2011

Keywords: Cognitive proximity; Knowledge creation; International group; Finland; Group behaviour

References

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