This paper discusses the linkages between Social Network Theory (Granovetter, 1973) and Organisational Knowledge Theory (Polanyi, 1966; Nonaka, 1994; Nonaka et al., 2001) as it relates to the diffusion of organisational innovation within large organisations. The focus is on examining these theoretical interrelationships in three case studies, delving into major change projects in three large telecommunications firms. The findings indicate that weak ties are vital when the focus is on explicit knowledge, while strong ties are vital when the focus is on tacit knowledge. Further, a model is posed to expand this theoretical interrelationship to include a third dimension: the knowledge source.
Keywords: case study, knowledge transfer, organisational innovation, social networks.