Intra-organisational information and knowledge sharing : exploring persistent barriers

Kruger, Hilda (2010-03)

Thesis (MA (Information Science))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: When studying information and knowledge management case studies, it becomes evident that barriers to information and knowledge sharing persist, even in organisations that are lauded for their IKM initiatives. This study set out to probe why this is the case. To this end the study explored persistent barriers to information and knowledge sharing through an investigation of a Most Admired Knowledge Enterprise (MAKE) award winning organisation. It was predicted that the persistent barriers would correspond to the characteristics of organisations as complex social systems. Results indicated that the persistent barriers identified in the MAKE award winning organisation mirror the characteristics of complex social systems. The findings suggest one possible explanation for the persistence of barriers to information and knowledge sharing, namely that these barriers are rooted in the nature of organisations as complex systems. Viewing poor information and knowledge flows through a complex social systems lens draws attention to the ‘wicked’ nature of the issue, i.e. the reality that persistent barriers form interacting meshes that can at best be mitigated but not eliminated. Also, viewing persistent barriers as inherent in organisations suggest alternative ways of attending to these barriers.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: ‘n Oorsig van inligting- en kennisbestuur (IKB) gevallestudies wys duidelik dat hindernisse tot inligting- en kennisdeling gedurig volhou, selfs in organisasies met hoogs aangeskrewe IKB inisiatiewe. Die oogmerk van hierdie studie was om vas te stel waarom dit so is. Die studie het daarom hardnekkig volhoudende hindernisse tot inligting- en kennisdeling binne ‘n erkende Most Admired Knowledge Enterprise (MAKE) organisasie ondersoek. Dit is voorspel dat die volhoudende hindernisse sou ooreenstem met eienskappe van organisasies as komplekse sosiale stelsels. Die bevindinge het gewys dat volhoudende hindernisse wat binne die erkende MAKE organisasie identifiseer is, wel die eienskappe van komplekse sosiale stelsels weerspieël. Die bevindinge wys op een moontlike verklaring vir die hardnekkig volhoudende bestaan van hindernisse tot inligting- en kennisdeling, naamlik dat hierdie hindernisse spruit uit die aard van organisasies as komplekse stelsels. Deur na suboptimale inligting- en kennisvloei deur die lens van ‘n komplekse sosiale stelsel te kyk, word die ‘wicked’ aard van die probleem uitgewys, dit wil sê ‘n realiteit waar volhoudende hindernisse interaktiewe strikke vorm wat bloot aangespreek, maar nie elimineer kan word nie. Alternatiewe maniere word voorgestel hoe sulke hindernisse aangepak kan word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/1981
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