This study examines the impact of a centralized knowledge structure on the performance of international R&D teams in multinational corporations (MNCs) and moderating effects of team-specific characteristics. Building upon the social network perspective, we argue that while international R&D teams with a centralized knowledge structure will experience decreasing team performance due to inefficient knowledge sharing and evaluation, this negative effect will be mitigated through diversity in knowledge sources and team members’ personal backgrounds. We test our hypotheses using data collected from 384 international knowledge-intensive teams in two South Korean MNCs and find that the degree of knowledge centralization in a team negatively impacts the team’s performance. A team’s diverse knowledge in business domains, diversity in knowledge channels, and cultural and geographic distance among team members are found to mitigate this negative impact. Our study contributes to team research literature and innovation study in the context of international R&D teams.
- International R&D team
- knowledge centralization
- team business unit diversity
- team member cultural/geographical distance
- team performance