Cultural Impact on Global Knowledge Sharing

Cultural Impact on Global Knowledge Sharing

Timothy Shea (University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, USA) and David Lewis (University of Massachusetts Lowell, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-116-2.ch005


This chapter introduces how culture impacts global knowledge sharing. Effective knowledge sharing (KS), one of the four interdependent dimensions of knowledge management (KM), is particularly important in today’s global environment in which national cultural differences are negotiated all the time. Knowledge sharing is described along six dimensions and national culture along four dimensions. A model is presented, which provides guidelines for effectively sharing different types of knowledge within different cultural environments. Several examples are presented to illustrate the model’s effectiveness. Using the model as a guide, the authors believe that decision makers will increase the chances that information and knowledge will be shared successfully.
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Knowledge Management

Knowledge management (KM) initiatives by companies seek to “achieve knowledge integration and benefit from the collective knowledge of the organization through learning” (Mason, 2003, p. 31). More specifically, KM “facilitates the creation, capturing, organization, accessing, and use of an enterprise’s knowledge capital,” consisting of human capital (e.g., knowledge and skills), structural capital (e.g., systems, processes, and methods), and relational capital (e.g., relationship with customers, suppliers, and external organizations) (Cloete & Snyman, 2003, p. 237). This section discusses what knowledge is, the components of KM, where knowledge sharing fits in, and the goals of knowledge management systems.

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