Participants' Expectations and the Success of Knowledge Networking in the Public Sector
Jing Zhang (Clark University, USA), Anthony M. Cresswell (University of Albany, SUNY, USA) and Fiona Thompson (University at Albany, SUNY, USA)
Copyright: © 2005
This chapter reports a study of how participants’ expectations of interorganizational knowledge sharing are related to the success of information technology projects that require such sharing. Survey data were collected from 478 participants in six cases based on information technology innovation projects in New York State. Each project was initiated by a single New York State agency, with participants from other state agencies, local government, non-profit organizations, and private sector companies. The data analysis results identified four dimensions of participants’ expectations of knowledge sharing: benefits in providing more effective services, organizational barriers, technological incompatibility, and legal and policy constraints. Furthermore, building on Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) and the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), we found that the participants’ expectations regarding organizational barriers were negatively associated with the success of knowledge networking. The less positive participants’ expectations are about the inter-organizational structure and implementation processes, the less likely their efforts are to succeed. This chapter highlights the importance of the behind-the-scenes interorganizational collaboration necessary for public sector agencies to present a coherent public face in electronic government development. The benefits of and barriers to knowledge sharing as they are reflected in participants’ expectations provide an opportunity to elucidate the relevant factors that can facilitate or impede the implementation of interorganizational electronic government initiatives.