Questions for March 27 Frontiers


Here are a few questions to guide our discussion of two competing metaphors for successful knowledge communication: 1. the communication metaphor (Szulanski, 1995), and 2. the knowledge market metaphor (Hansen & Haas, 1997).


  1. How might the knowledge market metaphor apply to situations where, instead of attention, another resource is constrained (e.g. money, imitation effort)?


  1. What other forms of knowledge are amenable, or not amenable, to the knowledge market view? How can it be applied to external sources of knowledge?


  1. How does Szulanski’s concept of stickiness apply to the competition model proposed by Hansen and Haas? What additional insights are gained by Szulanski’s broader consideration of barriers to knowledge communication?


  1. Is the assumption in both papers of knowledge as transferable at zero marginal cost a reasonable one in practice, and in the authors’ studies?


  1. In what ways might the transfer of knowledge be more problematic than transfers of other information, or market goods?