Likelihood to Trust Sharing Knowledge in Multi-Cultural Consulting Companies

Likelihood to Trust Sharing Knowledge in Multi-Cultural Consulting Companies

Serafina Alamieyeseigha (SA Consulting, South Africa)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/ijrcm.2012040102
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Abstract

This study investigates the relationship of personality dimensions with the likelihood that professionals will trust, sharing their knowledge in a large multi-cultural consulting company. Trust was defined from the literature and used to measure likelihood to trust sharing knowledge. Personality was also grounded in the literature and used to measure the five-factor model of personality dimensions. A survey was given to professional workers at a financial-management consulting company in South Africa (n=125). Descriptive statistics, alpha reliability verification, correlation, ANOVA (Analysis of Variance), and Fisher post-hoc group comparisons were applied. A statistically significant model was developed which indicated three personality dimensions were positively related to the likelihood to trust sharing knowledge in the multi-cultural consulting company.
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Literature Review

In today's economy, knowledge is an important source of core competence and competitive advantage. Knowledge is a fundamental element for business operations, in addition to manpower, resources and capital. Knowledge management has become an important issue for business practitioners as well as academics and it is considered an important factor in determining an organization’s performance, especially for knowledge-intensive organizations such as consulting companies.

Many companies put considerable resources into knowledge creating and sharing activities, particularly the development of knowledge management systems. However, technology is not the only factor that determines successful knowledge management. Personality and trust about sharing knowledge are also an extremely important issue, since sharing of knowledge is essential to obtaining benefits from it. Knowledge cannot be used for competitive advantage unless it is externalized from one professional to another, because otherwise precious knowledge in a particular individual can be billed only to selected projects. If the knowledge can be shared, when there is sufficient trust, the knowledge can be utilized by more than a single person, and this knowledge continues to grow over time through sharing.

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