Differential Impacts of Functional, Geographical, and Hierarchical Diversity on Knowledge Sharing in the Midst of Organizational Change

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9 Scopus citations


Organizations have been diversifying their workforce to better respond to fast-changing environments. However, research has indicated that the effects of diversity can vary by a number of contextual influences. This study examines the differential impacts of functional, geographical, and hierarchical diversity on expertise awareness, knowledge transfer, and knowledge acquisition during a large-scale organizational change. The analysis of full network data (N = 211) collected from a multinational high-tech organization demonstrated that (a) geographical diversity was negatively associated with expertise awareness and knowledge sharing, (b) functional diversity was negatively related to expertise awareness, (c) hierarchical diversity had a positive effect on knowledge acquisition and expertise awareness, and (d) emotionally close ties contributed to expertise awareness and knowledge sharing. The findings indicate that hierarchical diversity and emotional closeness can promote knowledge sharing when members face new demands in the midst of organizational change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-30
Number of pages26
JournalManagement Communication Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018



  • diversity
  • expertise awareness
  • knowledge sharing
  • organizational change
  • social network analysis
  • tie strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Strategy and Management

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