Knowledge Sharing Barriers and Effectiveness at a Higher Education Institution

Knowledge Sharing Barriers and Effectiveness at a Higher Education Institution

Omar E. M. Khalil (Kuwait University, Kuwait) and Timothy Shea (University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, USA)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/jkm.2012040103
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In most of today’s academic circles, faculty knowledge is rarely shared with colleagues in the same institution in any meaningful or systematic way. This investigation sought answers to two questions regarding the faculty’s perceived knowledge sharing (KS) barriers and the influence that KS barriers may have on KS effectiveness. A data set was collected from seventy-six faculty members. The analysis revealed four key KS barriers, as bounded individual capacity is the most perceived barrier to KS, followed by inadequate organizational capability, fear of knowledge revelation, and knowledge nature. Fear of knowledge revelation was found to be the most influential barrier on KS effectiveness, as it influences three of the four KS effectiveness measures, namely awareness of research activities in one’s department, sharing of research knowledge with others in the institution, and satisfaction with sharing research knowledge with others in the institution. These findings contribute to the growing empirical KS research and provide an appropriate foundation for decision making and policy formulation aiming at fostering KS effectiveness in academe.
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Knowledge is a social construct. It exists in tacit and explicit forms, which are complementary and symbiotic. Innovation can occur only when explicit and tacit knowledge interact (Nonaka, 1994; Norris et al., 2006). While people can understand information individually and in isolation, knowledge can be only understood in a context of interactivity and communication with others (Norris et al., 2003).

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