Hjelm, Erik, Stålbom, Axel
This investigative case study of how barriers to knowledge sharing manifest at the Swedish subsidiary of the global consulting firm WSP, seeks to bridge the theory-practice gap in the knowledge management literature. The investigation focused on Practice Area Networks, or PANs, which are global information and communication networks at WSP, and the extent to which these are utilized by junior and senior consultants. The method mainly relies on semi-structured interviews, where 20 interviews were held with different consultants from all business areas. Additionally, a survey with 375 respondents from across all Swedish WSP offices was conducted as well as an on-site investigation at the Stockholm office which included several discussions with different managers. The results from the investigation reveal that despite a prolific enthusiasm for knowledge sharing across WSP Sweden, barriers nevertheless manifest in both a preference for the status quo and through employees’ internal communication problems. Consequently, PANs are not readily adopted but instead an approximate quarter of consultants are both aware of PAN and active users. Since employee knowledge is amongst the most valuable assets of a consulting firm, three propositions for future research were formulated concerning the barriers to knowledge sharing.
Alamgir, Rana, Ahmed, Shahid
Studies in recent years have revealed that use of ICT can significantly impact knowledge sharing in organizations by enhancing the knowledge sharing process, reducing knowledge sharing barriers, and introducing technology barriers. While this has been identified in many studies and a significant research has been carried out to identify knowledge sharing barriers, there exists a considerable dearth of research when the question of ‘which knowledge sharing barriers can ICT reduce and how?’ is posed. This thesis aims to address this question by studying the case of an organization using ICT for knowledge sharing. The study was carried out using questionnaire and interview findings and results showed that if ICT is effectively used, a number of knowledge sharing barriers - in addition to time and space barriers - can be successfully reduced. Organizational and individual knowledge sharing barriers saw most reduction by ICT while technology barriers did not see any reduction by use of ICT alone. This is in coherence with different studies that use of ICT for knowledge sharing introduces its own technology barriers. However the results show that if employees are tech-savvy and management considerably supports employee involvement in the process of design and deployment of ICT enabled knowledge sharing, technology barriers can also be greatly reduced and even entirely eliminated.
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