Knowledge Sharing Practices Among Non-Academic Staff in a Nigerian University

Knowledge Sharing Practices Among Non-Academic Staff in a Nigerian University

Funmilola Olubunmi Omotayo (University of Ibadan, Nigeria) and Hafsat Titilade Abdul-Rahman (University of Ibadan, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3476-2.ch029
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Knowledge sharing, an important part of knowledge management, has particularly been regarded as an important way of increasing competitiveness and performance of organisations. This study investigated knowledge sharing practices among non-academic staff at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Descriptive research designed was adopted. Findings reveal that the staff shared knowledge among themselves, and majority had understanding of, and good disposition to, knowledge sharing. The study found that the staff shared both tacit and explicit knowledge, but majorly tacit, and mainly through face-to-face interactions. The major knowledge sharing enabler is improved productivity, while lack of time is the major knowledge sharing barrier. The study concludes that there is a good knowledge sharing practices among the staff. However, there is need for the university to promote more collaboration and knowledge sharing practices among the staff by providing enabling environment for knowledge sharing, in addition to provision of adequate information and communication technologies.
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The concept, KS, has received immense attention due to the recognition of its value in learning, knowledge creation and innovation. KS is actually a key process in translating individual learning into organisational capability. KS comprises a set of shared understandings related to providing employees access to relevant information, thereby building knowledge network within organisation (Hogel, Parboteeah & Munson, 2003). Parekh (2009) highlights some benefits of KS: helps to avoid reinventing research, reduce redundant work, reduce cost of inventions, and expedite creation of knowledge with the help of experts and experienced persons. When properly managed, KS can greatly improve work-quality, decision-making skills, problem-solving efficiency as well as competency (Yang & Chen, 2007). KS is also a learning experience for the sharer. For example, if employees are motivated to share knowledge with their peers but are not sure if they are able to communicate the knowledge in a manner in which it will be understood, they are more likely to use KS as an opportunity to deepen their own understanding and find a better way to organise and explain knowledge before they share it. Moreover, knowledge sharers may learn others’ perspectives on the same issue or problem being discussed. Additionally, individuals may share their ideas with others to further develop them and to facilitate creativity. Thus, KS not only improves competence of the people that are involved in the process but also benefits the community or organisations by speeding up the deployment of knowledge.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Shared Language and Goals: Is viewed as a bonding mechanism that helps different parts of an organisation to integrate or to combine resources. It enhances the understanding, vision and communication among individuals in a group.

Knowledge Sharing: Refers to the exchange of explicit or tacit knowledge, ideas, experiences or even skills by the non-academic staff.

Disposition: Refers to positive or negative attitude of the non-academic staff towards knowledge sharing.

Explicit Knowledge: Is the type of knowledge that is formal, systematic, can be codified, collected, stored, and disseminated, and is not bound to a person.

Knowledge Sharing Behaviour: Are the tendencies and approaches exhibited by the non-academic staff while donating and collecting knowledge.

Knowledge: Is human understanding of a specialised field of interest that has been acquired through study and experience, and can be referred to the condition of knowing something by the non-academic staff with familiarity gained through experience or association.

Tacit Knowledge: Is the type of knowledge that is subjective, held within the holder, experience based, contextualised, job specific, transferred through conversation or narrative and difficult to formalise, articulate or communicate fully.

Social Identification: Is the feeling of an individual seeing himself as part of a group and sometimes have positive or emotional attachment to such group. It refers to the non-academic staff sense of belonging and positive feeling toward the university community they belong.

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