Article | Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal

A Learning Perspective on Intraorganizational Knowledge Spill-Ins

by James Oldroyd and Ranjay Gulati


This exploratory study examines the role of intraorganizational knowledge spill-ins in the process of inferential learning. Drawing on the notions of knowledge reliability (the creation of shared meanings) and validity (understandings of cause and effect), we explore how organizations learn inferentially in dynamic environments, where active experimentation rather than past experience is the underlying basis for learning. We find that intraorganizational knowledge spill-ins transfer heuristics crafted by one unit under local conditions of reliability and validity to other units, where they are reinterpreted and repurposed. Intraorganizational knowledge spill-ins emerge as a mechanism through which reliability and validity are enhanced for organizational learning.

Keywords: Learning; Perspective; Knowledge; Business Units; Organizations;


Oldroyd, James, and Ranjay Gulati. "A Learning Perspective on Intraorganizational Knowledge Spill-Ins." Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal 4, no. 4 (December 2010): 356–372.