Knowledge Sharing in an Organisation: A Practitioner Approach

Knowledge Sharing in an Organisation: A Practitioner Approach

Lee-Anne Lesley Harker, Michael Twum-Darko
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2189-2.ch009
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This chapter employed the moments of translation of the actor-network theory (ANT) to understand and interpret the sociotechnical knowledge sharing dynamics in organisations. Given the contextual and sociotechnical nature of knowledge sharing, a model constructed on the concepts of the moments of translation of the actor network theory (ANT), developed from a case study of a higher education institution (HEI) in South Africa, is proposed to help to understand and interpret the knowledge sharing challenges in organisations. A conceptual framework was developed within the context of ANT by adopting its ideals and principles to understand how to introduce and develop knowledge sharing within an organisation, using the moments of translation. As such, it was possible to determine why there is no network of aligned interest for knowledge sharing, and how to create a network of aligned interest.
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Conceptualising The Phenomenon

The actor network theory (ANT) is a social theory which examines the interplay between human and non-human entities in an actor network, thereby allowing technical, organisational and social aspects of an actor-network to be considered and studied together (Diedrich & Guzman, 2015). It therefore examines the shifting relationships between heterogeneous actors of a network of aligned interest. The shifting relationships are examined through the lens of the four moments of translation: problematisation, interessement, enrolment and mobilisation. Shifting relationships are explored in respect of the formation, growth and institutionalisation of a network of aligned interest. The moments of translation bring about alignment of interests defined by an obligatory passage point (OPP). The OPP is “[a] situation that has to occur for all of the actors to be able to achieve their interests, as defined by the focal actor” (Sarker, Sarker & Sidorova, 2006:56). Organisational efforts to introduce and develop knowledge sharing is conceptualised as the continuous application of the processes of translation to produce stable networks, while generating the actors’ identities and interests within the network (Diedrich & Guzman, 2015).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Culture: The entrenched behaviour and norms of a social group or context.

Leadership: The ability of an individual to inspire, influence or guide members of an organisation to achieve desired goals and perform well.

Strategy: A plan of action to achieve one or more goals, outlining resource requirements, and mobilising resources to achieve the desired goals.

Process: A series of interrelated steps performed to achieve a particular end

Knowledge Management: The systematic harnessing and management of knowledge for its application within an organisation.

Institutionalisation: The establishment of a practice as an entrenched norm within an organisation.

Knowledge Sharing: A necessary step of knowledge management in which the exchange of knowledge occurs.

Policy: The formal principles adopted by organisations to guide decision-making and action.

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