The role of international assignees' social capital in creating inter-unit intellectual capital: A cross-level model

B. Sebastian Reiche*, Anne-Wil Harzing, Maria L. Kraimer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

122 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We conceptualize international assignees as informational boundary spanners between multinational enterprise units, and develop a cross-level model that explores how assignees' social capital translates into inter-unit intellectual capital. First, as knowledge brokers, assignees create inter-unit intellectual capital by linking their home- and host-unit social capital, thereby enabling cross-unit access to previously unconnected knowledge resources. Second, as knowledge transmitters, assignees' host-unit social capital facilitates their creation of individual intellectual capital, which, in turn, translates into inter-unit intellectual capital. We conclude that individual social capital needs to be explicitly transferred to the organizational level to have a sustained effect on inter-unit intellectual capital.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-526
JournalJournal of International Business Studies (JIBS)
Volume40
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • international assignments
  • MNE knowledge flows
  • social capital
  • intellectual capital
  • KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER
  • MULTINATIONAL-CORPORATIONS
  • ABSORPTIVE-CAPACITY
  • INDIVIDUAL-PERFORMANCE
  • NETWORK STRUCTURE
  • WEAK TIES
  • CAREER
  • ORGANIZATION
  • ASSIGNMENT
  • MANAGERS

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