How Does Knowledge Sharing Across Generations Impact Innovation?
Woodfield, P; Husted, K
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We explore how knowledge sharing impacts innovation across generations of a family firm. We argue that each generation contributes to the knowledge pool differently, and there can be different levels of hostility towards sharing knowledge that can impact a family firm’s ability to innovate. We present two models distinguishing the source of knowledge from the receiver of knowledge for each generation. When the senior generation is the source of knowledge, business tends to be as per usual. Conversely, when the source of knowledge is the next generation, this can lead to new approaches to doing business being introduced, with potential for innovation activities and outcomes. We suggest that to minimise hoarding and rejection of knowledge, strategies need to be in place to avoid redundancy in the knowledge production and problem-solving processes.