Look into the Different Knowledge Sources in a Conference

Look into the Different Knowledge Sources in a Conference

Reychav Iris (Ariel University, Israel), Sengupta Kishore (University INSEAD, France) and Te'eni Dov (Tel-Aviv University, Israel)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch453
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Background

Conference Goals

Academic conferences provide an important channel for exchanging information among researchers (Reychav & Te'eni, 2008). Reychav & Te'eni showed that academic conferences lay the groundwork for social relationships between people from different cultures through symbolic forms and techniques including formal settings such as lectures and discussions, and informal settings such as social events.

Knowledge Sourcing

Knowledge is defined here as the information, skills and expertise exchanged among conference attendees. One main obstacle to the exchange of knowledge is the fact that knowledge is property. Ownership is hence very important to attendees. Dalkir (2005) showed that individuals tend to be rewarded for what they know, not for what they share; so attendees in a conference must feel confident that they will receive an incentive for promoting their ideas or extending their collaboration in return for KS. Nevertheless, knowledge-sourcing is one of the most fundamental ways researchers cope with their environment, especially in a conference where researchers hope to find people with whom they can learn or exchange knowledge in their fields of interest.

Knowledge Sourcing and Learning

Accessing and sourcing knowledge can increase learning in organizations (Gribbins et al., 2007). These learning behaviors fall into two categories: individuals can either learn from their own experiences, or from the experiences of others (Levitt and March, 1988). Knowledge sourcing belongs to the latter category, and is distinct from direct behaviors that involve learning directly from the work environment, such as observation, experimentation (Lapre and Van Wassenhove, 2001), systematic problem solving (Garvin, 1993), experiential learning (Kolb, 1984), and learning by doing (Arrow, 1962). Knowledge sourcing is an indirect form of learning behavior where individuals gain access to others' understanding of the work environment through interactions. Previous organizational research on the impact of IT has focused on learning that takes place either in a face-to- face environment or online (Alavi et al., 2002). Online learning commonly includes the use of the Internet (Kim and Bonk, 2006). Understanding knowledge sourcing is critical for designing and developing KM technologies, which play a unique role in transferring knowledge in organizations.

Researchers have argued that qualitative examination is needed to better understand what global team members perceive as challenging and rewarding (Finegold & Cooke,2006). This can be done by using the limited time frame of conferences, and can help develop strategies to make collaboration in a learning environment more satisfying.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Formal & Informal Knowledge Sharing in a Conference: Reychav & Te'eni (2009) differentiated between KS in formal settings such as lectures and workshops, and informal settings such as coffee breaks and social events. In both settings content knowledge was studied in terms of several categories of knowledge including presenters, subject, research, methodologies, results, conclusions, academic implications and practical implications.

Knowledge in an Academic Conference: Knowledge is defined here as the information, skills and expertise exchanged among conference attendees

Knowledge-Sourcing: is one of the most fundamental ways researchers cope with their environment, especially in a conference where researchers hope to find people with whom they can learn or exchange knowledge in their fields of interest.

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