Barriers to Knowledge Sharing

Barriers to Knowledge Sharing

Keith L. Lindsey (Trinity University, USA)
Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-931-1.ch006
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Barriers to knowledge sharing continue to thwart organizational efforts to identify knowledge, manage its flow, and effectively integrate its use in organizational decision making. These critical organizational tasks transcend departmental boundaries and, taken in whole, could be considered to comprise the fundamental reason for the existence of the organization. Improving the efficiency of knowledge sharing is a highly desirable goal because it offers a promise of compounded returns as the organization works harder and smarter. Knowledge workers have developed a variety of mechanisms and routines to share knowledge, but these are all subject to one or more barriers to knowledge sharing. As knowledge researchers continue to work toward a better understanding of the knowledge sharing process, the fundamental characteristics of the knowledge sharing transaction remains consistent, but the barriers may be transient. This article provides a comprehensive review of the barriers to knowledge sharing that have been identified in the literature and examines the ways that personal barriers have changed since the first edition of The Encyclopedia of Knowledge Management was published. If the barriers to knowledge sharing are indeed found to be transient, then managers may be empowered to develop a set of tools that could be used to lessen the effect of multiple barriers, which could lead to much more efficient organizational routines. In this article, the process of knowledge sharing is examined by framing the knowledge sharing transaction as a form of communication in order to identify and isolate the barriers to that type of communication. Once the barriers are isolated, they can be overcome.

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