Purpose: This study aims to investigate the dynamics of knowledge sharing in health care, exploring some of the factors that are more likely to influence the evolution of idea sharing and advice seeking in health care. Design/methodology/approach: The authors engaged 50 pediatricians representing many subspecialties at a mid-size US children’s hospital using a social network survey to map and measure advice seeking and idea sharing networks. Through the application of Stochastic Actor-Oriented Models, the authors compared the structure of the two networks prior to a leadership program and eight weeks post conclusion. Findings: The models indicate that health-care professionals carefully and intentionally choose with whom they share ideas and from whom to seek advice. The process is fluid, non-hierarchical and open to changing partners. Significant transitivity effects indicate that the processes of knowledge sharing can be supported by mediation and brokerage. Originality/value: Hospital administrators can use this method to assess knowledge-sharing dynamics, design and evaluate professional development initiatives and promote new organizational structures that break down communication silos. This work contributes to the literature on knowledge sharing in health care by adopting a social network approach, going beyond the dyadic level and assessing the indirect influence of peers’ relationships on individual networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2017-2033
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Knowledge Management
Issue number8
StatePublished - 19 Oct 2023


  • Advice networks
  • Health care teams
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Social network analysis
  • Stochastic Actor-Oriented Models


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