Knowledge flows in organisations through a complex network of interactions, with the most effective flow occurring when employees share common ground. The degree of shared understanding influences the effectiveness of knowledge transfer. Employees with similar backgrounds or experiences are more likely to understand each other and share knowledge effectively.

Knowledge also flows in a hierarchical manner, from top to bottom, and laterally, with peers sharing information. The direction of flow impacts the quality of knowledge transfer. Top-down flow is often directive, providing specific instructions or information, whereas lateral flow tends to be more exploratory, fostering innovation and creativity.

The physical proximity of employees also affects knowledge flow. Face-to-face interactions facilitate the sharing of complex or tacit knowledge, while digital communication is more effective for explicit knowledge.

Lastly, knowledge flow is influenced by the organisational culture. Open, supportive cultures encourage knowledge sharing, while competitive, individualistic cultures hinder it. Organisations can foster knowledge flow by creating a supportive culture, encouraging lateral interactions, and using digital tools for explicit knowledge sharing.

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