Exploring Causes, Taxonomies, Mechanisms and Barriers Influencing Knowledge Transfer: Empirical Studies in NGOs

Exploring Causes, Taxonomies, Mechanisms and Barriers Influencing Knowledge Transfer: Empirical Studies in NGOs

Sheikh Shamim Hasnain (University of Bedfordshire, Bedfordshire, UK), Sajjad M. Jasimuddin (Department of Strategy, Kedge Business School, Marseille, France) and Nerys Fuller-Love (School of Management and Business, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, UK)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/IRMJ.2016010103
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Knowledge transfer is one of the significant elements in the knowledge management process. Knowledge transferors share different types of knowledge with the recipients with a view to fulfilling the latter's knowledge needs. The importance of identifying the appropriate knowledge transfer mechanisms and the barriers to knowledge transfer are paramount. However, neither the knowledge management literature nor the NGO-sector literature has adequately addressed the issues of causes of knowledge transfer, taxonomies of knowledge, mechanisms and barriers of knowledge transfer in comprehensive way in the context of the Bangladeshi NGO sector. The highest number of NGOs in the world is deployed in Bangladesh. Little is known about such transfer within the NGO context based in Bangladesh. This paper makes an endeavour to bridge these grey areas of knowledge management and NGO-sector. Having collected the qualitative data from Bangladeshi NGOs and using the content analysis technique, the study identified the causes of knowledge transfer, taxonomies of knowledge, mechanisms of knowledge transfer and the barriers to knowledge transfer in the context of Bangladesh. By understanding the mechanisms and the determinants of knowledge transfer, company and NGO managers and public policy makers can influence knowledge transfer more effectively. Future researchers may extend this study by carrying out similar research in a different context.
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2. Literature Review

The basic concept of knowledge transfer may be compared to the well-known communication process model of Shannon and Weaver (1949), where two actors remainengaged in transferring a message, both of them educating each other. There may be noise between communications, and one should understand the other’s message, otherwise the entire communication process fails. A significant number of authors have defined knowledge transfer in different ways. For example, Davenport and Prusak (1998) have a holistic and wide-ranging view of knowledge transfer emphasising the important issues like ‘absorption’ and ‘actions’ on the basis of transferred knowledge are taken into account. They showed that knowledge transfer consists of transmission (sending or presenting knowledge to a potential recipient) and absorption by that person and group i.e. Transfer= Transmission +Absorption (and use). Motivation is one of the reasons of knowledge transfer (Jasimuddin et al., 2006; Stenmark, 2001). At the NGO-level, knowledge transfer helps in empowering the beneficiaries (Sultana and Islam, 2009; Afrin et al., 2008). The contribution of NGOs in socio-economic development is also acknowledged by many authors (Begum, 2008; Nawaz, 2011; Gauri and Galef, 2005).

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