Organizational Knowledge Sharing Networks

Organizational Knowledge Sharing Networks

Haris Papoutsakis (Technological Education Institute (TEI) of Crete, Greece)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-540-5.ch007
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This chapter explores the ways that Knowledge Sharing Networks support the flow of organizational knowledge within a firm. Based on the assumption that tools people need to work with others are different from the ones they need to work alone; it demonstrates how the use of groupware permits “anytime, anyplace” collaboration within the organization. Furthermore, it takes a close look at information technology tools that enable leaders not only to encourage their employees to share knowledge personally, but also to put their knowledge in a form that others can easily access it now or in the future. In doing so, Knowledge Sharing Networks play an important role in preserving organizational memory.
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“In the end, the location of the new economy is not in the technology, be it the microchip or the global telecommunications network. It is in the human mind.” AlanWebber (1993, p. 27)



In the course of this book, the term organizational memory is used to describe the preservation of organizational knowledge. The following definition, proposed by the Editor in his call for chapters for this book, has served as a starting point:

Organizational memory is the body of knowledge, past, present, and future, required to achieve the strategic objectives of an organization. Enabled by technology, leadership, and culture, organizational memories include repositories of artefacts, communities of people, and organizational knowledge sharing processes, which focus on achieving the organizational vision.

The key objectives of this chapter are to explore how knowledge repositories, as part of a Knowledge Sharing Network, may best support the flow of organizational knowledge within a firm, and to describe ways, through which, in the future, they will best serve for preserving organizational memory. The chapter is organized as following. In the following section we examine two different approaches that are utilized for the flow of information and the organizational knowledge transactions within organizations; namely internal knowledge markets and internal knowledge communities. The section sub headed Supporting Collaboration starts with the assumption that tools people need to work with others are different from the ones they need to work alone. Everyday activities like communication and interaction, or decision making and problem solving are examined under all possible same/different time or same/different place conditions. We demonstrate how the use of groupware permits ‘anytime, anyplace’ collaboration within the organization.

In the following section, under the title Supporting Organizational Memory, we consider organizational knowledge as an intellectual capital asset under the knowledge-based theory of the firm. We take a close look at IT-tools that enable leaders not only to encourage their employees to share knowledge personally, but also to put their knowledge in a form that others can easily access it now or in the future. In the section sub headed Knowledge Sharing Networks, knowledge repositories are presented as the most important element of a Knowledge Sharing Network (KSN) and their contribution in both Integrative and Interactive Knowledge Management (KM) applications is presented. KSNs and their architecture are weighed against codification and personalization strategies, which certain researchers, departing from different perspectives, consider appropriate for a number of organizations. Closing this core section of the chapter, we focus on problems related to the effective use of KSNs, as we consider them the KM and IT-tools that mostly affect organizational performance.

Finally, our conclusions are presented in an effort to assist managers in the difficult task of successfully managing and sharing organizational knowledge.


Organizational Knowledge Flow

For the purpose of our investigation it is important to examine the channels that permit and facilitate organizational knowledge to flow inside and within an organization. Two are the main types of information-handling activities: The procedure-based ones (related to the procedures that employees are involved in their every day practice) and the knowledge-based information-handling activities. We shall focus our interest on the Information Systems (IS) aiming on supporting knowledge-based activities. IS that support employees in performing information-handling activities in order to work together, share expertise and knowledge, and solve problems. As of their nature, these IS must support activities that do not follow the same or similar process every time and that deal with information and knowledge that cannot be easily captured.

Complete Chapter List

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Nick Bontis
John P. Girard
John P. Girard
Chapter 1
Peter Stoyko
This chapter describes how organizational culture is both a “vessel” for preserving organizational memory and a force that conditions the way... Sample PDF
Organizational Culture and the Management of Organizational Memory
Chapter 2
Nicholas N. Bowersox
Recent business practices over the past decade have been tainted with corporate restructuring strategies such as downsizing, reorganizations, and... Sample PDF
Downsizing and Building Organizational Memory: A Paradoxical Relationship between “Brain-Drain” and “Brain-Gain”
Chapter 3
Nicholas P. Robinson, Prescott C. Ensign
This chapter argues that a trusting corporate culture predicated on values that emphasize sharing and encourage interactions amongst stakeholders at... Sample PDF
Effective Stakeholder Knowledge Sharing for Effective Organizational Memory
Chapter 4
Jerry Westfall
This chapter discusses the revision of the SECI model originally based on Japanese organizational culture into a model based on American... Sample PDF
Revising the SECI Model for American Organizational Culture
Chapter 5
Parissa Haghirian
A growing interest in the various aspects of knowledge transfer within multinational corporations has been evidenced by a recent surge in empirical... Sample PDF
Knowledge Transfer within Multinational Corporations: An Intercultural Challenge
Chapter 6
Patrice Dunckley, Suzanne Roff-Wexler
This chapter provides perspective and practical techniques that individuals and organizations can use to maximize knowledge transfer efforts. It... Sample PDF
Valuing a Multiplicity of Views: How to Tap Informal Networks to See the (W)hole
Chapter 7
Haris Papoutsakis
This chapter explores the ways that Knowledge Sharing Networks support the flow of organizational knowledge within a firm. Based on the assumption... Sample PDF
Organizational Knowledge Sharing Networks
Chapter 8
Raul M. Abril, Ralf Müller
This chapter suggests established research approaches to capture and validate project lessons learned. Past research indicates that due to the... Sample PDF
Lessons Learned as Organizational Project Memories
Chapter 9
Jerry Westfall
This chapter discusses employee recall due to training presentations. Recall is an employee’s ability to remember what they knew or have learned via... Sample PDF
Will You Recall What You Knew?
Chapter 10
Maria de los Angeles Martin, Luis Olsina
With the aim to manage and retrieve the organizational knowledge, in the last years numerous proposals of models and tools for knowledge management... Sample PDF
Added Value of Ontologies for Modeling an Organizational Memory
Chapter 11
Juha Kettunen
This study analyses how strategic management is integrated with budgeting in the cities using the Balanced Scorecard approach, which provides a... Sample PDF
The Collective Process and Memory of Strategic Management
Chapter 12
Kimiz Dalkir
Research on how organizational memories can be created, preserved and made available for future reuse in NPOs is presented. An initial review of the... Sample PDF
Organizational Memory Challenges Faced by Non-Profit Organizations
Chapter 13
Susan G. McIntyre
The case study of the Chemical, Biological, Radiological-Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Research and Technology Initiative (CRTI), a Canadian... Sample PDF
Creating and Sustaining Meta Organizational Memory: A Case Study
Chapter 14
David Bennet, Alex Bennet
This chapter begins with a brief discussion of the basic concepts related to the unconscious life of an organization, and then addresses specific... Sample PDF
Associative Patterning: The Unconscious Life of an Organization
Chapter 15
Michael JD Sutton
This chapter introduces the research domain of knowledge management educational programs and issues associated with the preservation of knowledge... Sample PDF
A Manifesto for the Preservation of Organizational Memory Associated with the Emergence of Knowledge Management Educational Programs
Chapter 16
Marie-Hélène Abel
Learning can be considered an outcome associated with acquiring new competencies (Sicilia, 2005) and adding new knowledge. A competence is a way to... Sample PDF
An Organizational Memory Tool for E-Learning
Chapter 17
Sajjad M. Jasimuddin, N.A.D. Connell, Jonathan H. Klein
It is generally recognized that Walsh and Ungson (1991) “provided the first integrative framework for thinking about organizational memory”... Sample PDF
Understanding Organizational Memory
Chapter 18
Les Miller, Sree Nilakanta, Yunan Song, Lei Zhu, Ming Hua
Organizational memories play a significant role in knowledge management, but several challenges confront their use. Artifacts of OM are many and... Sample PDF
Managing Knowledge in Organizational Memory Using Topic Maps
About the Contributors