Sharing Knowledge

less than 1 minute read

by Peter Marks, Peter Polak, Scott McCoy and Dennis Galletta

The idea of knowledge management systems (KMS) is unlocking knowledge heretofore only accessible in the minds of certain organizational members.

Unfortunately several factors prevent members from sharing knowledge: (i) People garnered considerable knowledge gain power by holding unique knowledge, and (ii) it provides them with a competitive advantage. On the downside, they have to solve the same problem over and over again, because other people cannot access solutions over public interfaces like "knowledge bases".

Knowledge bases are public goods and suffer from the fundamental issue of "free riders". Current research identified three factors positively influencing KMS adoption:

  • encouragement by the management ("nagging" *g*)
  • loyality to the firm or group
  • personal values (social value orientation)

The later factor requires individuals who's personal profile can be described as collectivist in contrast to competitors (maximizing the distance between themselves and others) and individualists (maximizing their own return regardless of others).