In this conceptual paper, we suggest that knowledge flows constitute the antecedences of value creation by means of its communication component. Knowledge is increasingly being accepted as a source of value creation and a differentiator between firms. However, to a large extent, current approaches to management and governance of knowledge resources prescribe measurements of the stock of knowledge. Therefore, we suggest a bridge that connects current knowledge sharing understanding with properties from communication theory, to explicate knowledge in use through a communication patterns perspective. Building on the perspective of knowledge as a flow, and postulating that value is based on knowledge use, rather than knowledge possession, this paper addresses the research question: How can we express knowledge in such a way that it can be monetized and made accessible to specific managerial interventions? We explain how communication is instrumental in capturing knowledge value and allows for a connection with monetary value. Extant literature on organizational communication roles emphasizes the role of boundary-spanners in the search for and combination of experience and tacit knowledge. Individual nodes in organizational networks can possess knowledge. However, to be valuable, the knowledge resources need to be deployed and utilized. The use of knowledge will involve the communication of this knowledge through ties to other nodes. The paper proposes that boundary-spanning roles provide a focal point for such monetization efforts. The contribution of this paper is six propositions for future research on how management accounting and control systems can be brought to bear in their governable and calculable aspects if communication functions are given more attention.
Keywords: boundary spanners; monetization; communication; knowledge flows; knowledge sharing.