PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to empirically explore the relationship between individuals’ shared core knowledge within a firm and a collective understanding of management’s strategic priorities.Design/methodology/approachThe study develops three sets of competing hypotheses to predict how three different aspects of individuals’ shared core knowledge – extent, diversity and interpretation – are related to their understanding of the organization’s strategic priorities. The hypotheses are tested using a cognitive mapping approach within the context of a manufacturing plant in the USA.FindingsOrganizational members with a lower proportion of shared core knowledge exhibit a greater appreciation of the firm’s strategic priorities. More diversity in this shared knowledge is associated with a greater appreciation of strategic priorities and when members agree on the relative importance of different types of knowledge, whether they actually share this knowledge, they have a better understanding of the firm’s strategic priorities.Research limitations/implicationsThe study uses data from a single firm in one industry.Originality/valueThis research helps to highlight and empirically isolate different aspects of shared knowledge that influence individuals’ understanding of organizational priorities. It also demonstrates the varying importance of different aspects of shared knowledge (e.g. extent, diversity and interpretation in explaining individuals’ understanding of the firm’s strategic priorities.
Management Research Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 27, 2019
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