Why organizations fail to share knowledge : an empirical investigation and opportunities for improvement

Kelly, SJH ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2727-7109, Israilidis, J and Siachou, E 2020, 'Why organizations fail to share knowledge : an empirical investigation and opportunities for improvement' , Information Technology and People, 34 (5) , pp. 1513-1539.

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Abstract

Purpose – This paper explores critical failure factors (CFFs) in the context of knowledge sharing. It provides further insights into what can cause knowledge- sharing failures, inflexible knowledge-sharing strategies and ineffective knowledge- sharing mechanisms. It also examines how practitioners can reduce or even mitigate such dysfunctions. Design/methodology/approach – A case-based inductive approach was conducted. Data were collected from two studies applying mixed methods. The first data set included nine in-depth, semi-structured interviews with highly skilled personnel from an aerospace and defense organization. The second data source included 375 successfully completed questionnaires from participants employed at the same organization. Findings – The paper identifies six CFFs with an impact on knowledge sharing. It also reveals that managing organizational ignorance can play a key role in generating new knowledge and averting failure. Study findings provide insights into the importance of identifying these failures when sharing knowledge and propose relevant mitigation strategies. Originality/value – This paper identifies a range of empirically validated CFFs that complement the extant work on the complexity of knowledge sharing and have hitherto not been seen in the literature. It also provides a more nuanced understanding of why both organizations and their people often fail to share knowledge by exploring the role of organizational ignorance. Keywords Knowledge sharing, Critical failure factors (CFFs), Organizational ignorance, Mixed methods, Aerospace and defense industry Paper type Research paper

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Information Technology and People
Publisher: Emerald
ISSN: 0959-3845
Depositing User: Dr Stephen Kelly
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2022 11:54
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2022 16:14
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/64023

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