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Title: Internal knowledge networks and employees' performance in a collaborative context: an empirical study of Japanese universities

Authors: Shin Ito; Toshiya Watanabe

Addresses: Department of Industrial Technology and Innovation, Graduate School of Engineering, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, 2-24-16 Naka-cho, Koganei-shi, Tokyo 184-8588, Japan ' The Institute for Future Initiatives, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan

Abstract: The effect of cohesive networks on employees' performance has led to a protracted dispute among researchers. This study investigated the relationships between the internal knowledge network and employees' performance in a collaborative context. Using questionnaire survey data, we examined the ego networks of 274 research managers and administrators from Japanese universities and research organisations. The results of logistic regression analysis showed that a cohesive network structure has a significant positive relationship with the perceived performance of individuals and the workplace. External knowledge search activity of networks also had a positive relationship with individual and workplace performance. Our findings clarify the positive relationship of a cohesive internal network with employees' performance in a collaborative context where multiple, specialised tasks have to be cooperatively performed. Our results can be of benefit in extending the practice of university research management.

Keywords: internal network; knowledge; collaborative context; cohesive network; individual performance; workplace; university research management; questionnaire survey; Japanese universities; research managers; research administrators.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEWE.2022.131000

International Journal of Environment, Workplace and Employment, 2022 Vol.6 No.4, pp.259 - 283

Accepted: 22 Nov 2021
Published online: 18 May 2023 *

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