Knowledge sharing and creation are considered key processes leading to innovation and organizational performance. Several organizational initiatives have focused on building communities of practice in order to create a platform where employees can share experiences and insights. The focus in this paper is on one type of network structure, termed distributed networks of knowledge (DNoK). The success of such practices is deeply linked to whether or not formalization of the networks can hamper their knowledge creation and creativity. The role of leadership has been extensively discussed in the setting of communities of practice. However, this paper intends to shed new light on the topic by exploring the boundary management perspective in order to enable knowledge sharing and creation within this specific context of DNoK. To this end, we have examined the role of leadership styles in different DNoKs in a multinational firm.
Keywords: leadership style, distributed networks of knowledge, communities of practice, knowledge creation, boundary spanning role, boundary management