Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date



Knowledge Integration (KI) or the capability to collate and process distinctive stocks of organizational information is central to innovation. Although an essential capability, KI is also challenging to accomplish in practice due to relational obstacles. The relational obstacles arise because of knowledge boundaries: (a) syntactic boundary where the challenge is to transfer the knowledge; (b) semantic boundary where the challenge is to translate the knowledge; and (c) pragmatic boundary, where the challenge is to transform the knowledge to realize relational rents. In this paper, we propose that these relational obstacles could be resolved through a common lexicon, common meaning, and common interests, or common knowledge of knowledge actors that can serve as potential drivers to realizing relational rents. Analysis of data collected from 139 small firms indicates that common meaning and common interests positively influence KI. Further, KI positively influences organizational innovation. Moreover, the results demonstrate that novelty plays a crucial role in affecting the strength of relational resources’ relationships with KI capability. As novelty increases, the importance of common meaning and common interests on KI capability increases. Our findings contribute to our understanding of the role of relational obstacles and KI and empirically assess the efficacy of boundary-spanning objects in facilitating KI capability and innovation.


Note: Elsevier allows for upload as long as it is not for commercial use



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.