From common to uncommon knowledge: Foundations of firm-specific use of knowledge as a resource

Rajiv Nag, Dennis A. Gioia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

115 Scopus citations


Although the knowledge-based view of strategy has significantly advanced understanding of the foundations of competitive advantage, less is known about how knowledge becomes a strategic resource. In this study, we develop an inductive, process model of the relationships among (1) top managers' beliefs about knowledge as a resource (termed executive knowledge schemes ), (2) the ways that executives search or scan for knowledge, and (3) how they use that knowledge in practice to transform common knowledge into distinctive, uncommon knowledge as a way of achieving competitive advantage. In the course of generating the grounded model, we also uncovered a new concept, scanning proactiveness , and identified two distinct forms of knowledge use in practice: knowledge adaptation and knowledge augmentation .

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-457
Number of pages37
JournalAcademy of Management Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2012


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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