Using Agent Based Simulation and Game Theory Analysis to Study Knowledge Flow in Organizations: The KMscape

Using Agent Based Simulation and Game Theory Analysis to Study Knowledge Flow in Organizations: The KMscape

Richard Jolly (Portland State University, USA) and Wayne Wakeland (Portland State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/jkm.2009010102
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Abstract

Knowledge sharing in organizations, especially the impact of sharing freely versus not sharing, was studied using game theoretic analysis and a Netlogo agent-based simulation model. In both analyses, some agents hoarded knowledge while others shared knowledge freely. As expected, sharing was found to greatly increase the overall amount of knowledge within the organization. Unexpectedly, on average, agents who share acquire more knowledge than hoarders. This is in contradiction to the conclusion from the prisoner’s dilemma analysis. This is due to the synergy that develops between groups of agents who are sharing with each other. The density of the agents is important; as the density increases, the probability increases that an agent with a large amount of knowledge to share happens to be organizationally nearby. The implications are that organizations should actively encourage knowledge sharing, and that agent-based simulation is a useful tool for studying this type of organizational phenomena.

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