Knowledge Sharing by Knowledge Workers

 | November 08,2011 10:36 am IST

We all moves towards a knowledge economy and now knowledge become the key driver of the economy. The new economy is characterized by the knowledge as the main component of economic growth and success.

The success of this type of economy lies how we are going to create, capture, share and store the knowledge. In the present scenario the business is characterized by fast, volatile, high-value competition. To survive, organizations must be proactive, assertive and flexible.


The intellectual capital of organizations gives distinctive and sustainable value. This type of economy sets the concept of Knowledge society that gives strategic advantage to the organization. Learning is always the byproduct of social interaction .Organizations provide an enabling environment for learning by virtue of being a social collectivity: since knowledge by nature is collective and it is through a process of communal development that a body of knowledge develops.


Organizations strive to capture knowledge as well as employ knowledge management initiatives for quality improvement, innovation, efficiency, improved decision-making, change management, alignment with customer needs, and the like. Knowledge sharing is now treated as vital activity in all types of organizations. But it is more prevalent in the organizations such as universities, since the majority of the employees are involved in knowledge creation and we call them as knowledge workers. There are two types of knowledge explicit and the tacit. Explicit knowledge is easily stored in databases but tacit knowledge that academic staff creates or gains are embedded in their minds and constitutes the warehouse of an educational institution’s intellectual capital. Normally knowledge sharing is the key activity of any educational institute. The number of seminars, conferences and publications are more common in academic institutions as compare to other organizations that helps in knowledge sharing.

But story is not so simple it is having U-Turn. In place of knowledge sharing now a day’s knowledge holding or hoarding is more common in academic institute. Like other traditional resources, i.e. land, labour and capital, to a certain extent, once it is distributed and shared, knowledge becomes a public good. On the one hand, once created, knowledge needs to be distributed quickly .As we all know knowledge is the “power”, holding knowledge is similar to holding the competitive power of the new economy. The problems of knowledge sharing and hoarding is prevalent in all organizations irrespective of the type.


In educational institutes academic staff publishes research papers, attend conferences and seminars, conduct Management Development Programmes and also provide consultancy services to different organizations. All these activities involved lots of funds and commitment from the institute’s side, in favor of that most of the organizations and educational institutes are not the exception from that expects knowledge acquired by the employees on the job has to be belonged to the organization rather than the individual and it has to be shared. But many employees do not buy this thought.

In any organization employees gains wealth of information and it develops them more efficient and productive. But when we taking about knowledge sharing they are not interested at all. Faculty having certain critical knowledge will often protect it as if it were their own property. Faculty do not share there lecture materials with there students in order to show their importance throughout the academic year. There are many reasons to hide that the knowledge like interpersonal and that includes circumstances when people feel that an injustice has been done to them, they are distrustful of management, unsure about own capabilities also lead to hiding of information, organization culture also promotes hiding, sometimes hiding of important information of an employee from his or her peer group member gives sense of power and importance. There are many institutional loopholes which equally contributes the knowledge holding activity like poor technology support in maximum academic institutes in fact they all claims wi fi campus faculty laptops but in reality they do not have even an official email accounts for their faculty members so this is a problem related to lack of technological infrastructure for this management have to support. Secondly many faculty members have Kiasuism attitude means afraid to lose mentality the main reason for that is insecurity in job but we cannot completely remove this attitude but by creating good culture we can only reduce this.

But hiding of information is not universal truth for any organization some of the employees are more than willing to provide job knowledge to people they trust. Now education institutes often promote there employees to build databases of knowledge, but still requires some sort of willingness from employee’s side too hence knowledge sharing requires more personal interaction than person-to-computer links.

To promote knowledge sharing among teaching fraternity educational system must develop culture and must incorporate motivating factors like rewards, incentives and also develop certain metrics for appraisal on the basis of knowledge sharing. Incentive can be monetary in the form of appraisal or some sort of rewards Academic institutions must use information-handling skills of their employees and turn these into knowledge management capabilities.