Knowledge Producers and Consumers

Knowledge Producers and Consumers

Atreyi Kankanhalli (National University of Singapore, Singapore) and Kwok-Kee Wei (National University of Singapore, Singapore)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-933-5.ch227
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Abstract

In a knowledge-based economy, organizations find it difficult to compete based upon the individual knowledge of a few organizational members. This provides the rationale for knowledge management wherein organizational knowledge must be shared, combined, and reused in order to enable organizations to compete more effectively. Hence, knowledge sharing is considered an essential process in knowledge management. Unfortunately, sharing is often unnatural for the parties involved in it, that is, knowledge contributors or producers and knowledge seekers or consumers. Hoarding knowledge and not accepting knowledge from others are natural tendencies that are difficult to change (Davenport & Prusak, 1998). Knowledge contributors may be inhibited from sharing their knowledge due to perceptions of loss of power, lack of time or incentives, and other barriers. Knowledge seekers may find it laborious to seek advice from others and desire to discover solutions for themselves. Therefore, it is vital to understand and foster the motivations of knowledge contributors and seekers toward participating in knowledge sharing.

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