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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations

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 (US)
Pages (from-to)509-526
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of International Business Studies
Volume40
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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