THE MESSENGER BIAS: A RELATIONAL MODEL OF KNOWLEDGE VALUATION

Tanya Menon, Sally Blount

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

How do managers value the knowledge that they encounter in organizations? A rational perspective assumes that managers carefully and accurately cull the best knowledge from their environments, while a random model situates managers in a chaotic organization, filled with preferences and solutions that are temporally matched. This paper develops a third view, a relational perspective, which describes how social relationships between knowledge messengers and knowledge receivers affect the way that managers evaluate new knowledge. We begin by focusing on two key dimensions of relational perception: social identification and threat appraisals. We then use these dimensions to derive a typology of six "relational schemas" that are commonly perceived between knowledge messengers and knowledge receivers at work. Next, we reveal how, holding knowledge content constant, these relational schemas bias the ways in which managers evaluate new knowledge. While network research demonstrates that relationships determine which knowledge managers see, this paper demonstrates that these relationships also have psychological implications by affecting how managers evaluate the knowledge that they see.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationResearch in Organizational Behavior
Pages137-186
Number of pages50
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003

Publication series

NameResearch in Organizational Behavior
Volume25
ISSN (Print)0191-3085

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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    Menon, T., & Blount, S. (2003). THE MESSENGER BIAS: A RELATIONAL MODEL OF KNOWLEDGE VALUATION. In Research in Organizational Behavior (pp. 137-186). (Research in Organizational Behavior; Vol. 25). https://doi.org/10.1016/S0191-3085(03)25004-8