Comparing Cultural and Political Perspectives of Data, Information, and Knowledge Sharing in Organisations

Comparing Cultural and Political Perspectives of Data, Information, and Knowledge Sharing in Organisations

Dennis Hart (Australian National University, Australia) and Leoni Warne (Defence Science and Technology Organisation, Australia)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/jkm.2006040101
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This paper raises issues concerning data, information, and knowledge sharing in organisations and, in particular, compares an organisational cultural analysis of why such sharing is often difficult to achieve with an organisational political one. The issues raised are often insufficiently attended to by practitioners who are attempting to build technological information and knowledge management systems. The driver for the paper is that despite impressive advances in technology and its now almost ubiquitous presence in organisations, as well as academic study over several decades, many of the benefits originally expected concerning improved data, information, and knowledge sharing have not materialised as expected. Basic reasons for this lie in the lack of attention to the cultural foundations of organisations and because matters relating to organisational power and political matters are often misunderstood, overlooked, or ignored. These different perspectives are discussed and contrasted in order to tease out the important differences between them and assess the prospects for a synthesis. It is concluded that while there are important commonalities between the two perspectives there are also fundamental differences, notably regarding what are causes and what are effects and, therefore, how to go about effecting change regarding data, information, and knowledge sharing.

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