The increasing specialization of knowledge is a defining feature of the global economy and creates opportunities for efficiency gains and economic growth. However, as knowledge becomes more specialized, the need for integration of specialized knowledge also increases. At the same time, knowledge integration – the purposeful combination of specialized and complementary knowledge to achieve specific tasks – is becoming increasingly important for organizations facing rapidly changing institutional environments, globalized markets and fast-paced technological developments. The increasing complexity and relevance of the knowledge integration problem is apparent in emerging new fields of research, such as open innovation, or the merging of existing ones, e.g. organizational learning and strategy. In global competition, the successful management of knowledge integration underpins firms’ ability to innovate, generate profit, grow and, ultimately, survive. This book provides conceptual contributions as well as empirical studies that examine knowledge integration essentially as a ‘boundary’ problem. This book put forward a consistent set of ideas, methods and tools useful to interpret, analyze and act upon the processes of knowledge integration across boundaries. This book addresses the challenges associated with how knowledge integration can be managed across boundaries. It offers analyses of key concepts such as knowledge boundaries, boundary objects, trans-specialist understanding, boundary spanning, absorptive capacity and knowledge creation in relation to knowledge integration. The book also provides rich empirical descriptions of knowledge integration across boundaries at different organizational levels of analyses in a range of settings and industries.
Oxford University Press, 2017.