Document Type



Knowledge transfer networks (KTNs) are composed of interconnected firms, government entities, and research organizations that play a critical role in the funding, development, and dissemination of knowledge in high-technology industries. Despite the common use of KTNs in situations that require technology inputs spanning multiple firms, little research has examined the start-up of KTNs and the marketing literature has essentially ignored them. Using social network, social identity, and relevant attribution and motivation theories, the authors build a conceptual model that explains key outcomes of start-up KTNs. A preliminary empirical investigation of a UK-wide KTN start-up finds evidence that social identification with the network is a key moderating mechanism. Identification plays a practical role in creating positive knowledge-transfer benefits for firms that are central in the KTN's social network. Identification also plays a symbolic role by affecting participants' perceptions of overall KTN performance in light of knowledge-transfer benefits that they received, and as an antecedent to affective commitment to the KTN.

Publication Date


Original Citation

Bond, Edward, Mark Houston and Elina Tang (2008), “Starting Up a High-Technology Knowledge Transfer Network: The Practical and Symbolic Roles of Identification,” Industrial Marketing Management, 37 (6), 641 – 652.

Legacy Department

Department of Marketing





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In Copyright



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