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Communication Barriers and Social Capital: Improving Information and Knowledge Flows in Public Services

Communication Barriers and Social Capital: Improving Information and Knowledge Flows in Public Services
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Author(s): Effimia Katsanika (University of Macedonia, Greece) and Katerina Gotzamani (University of Macedonia, Greece)
Copyright: 2020
Pages: 29
Source title: Knowledge Management Practices in the Public Sector
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Vasileios Ismyrlis (Hellenic Statistical Authority, Greece), Theodore Tarnanidis (University of Macedonia, Greece) and Efstratios Moschidis (University of Macedonia, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1940-0.ch004

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Abstract

The aim of this chapter is to explore ways in which the flows of information and knowledge within public services are affected by social capital. Drawing on communication and social capital theory and making use of network analysis tools, a regional department of a Greek social security entity served as a case study to assess the contribution of social capital to overcoming barriers to effective communication among public sector employees. Structural, relational, and cognitive social capital at a personal level were found to alleviate problems of accessibility as well as problems related to the control of the flow of information by gatekeepers, arbitrarily abridging, or distorting messages. Building new communication channels through personal initiative, establishing and maintaining good relationships among employees, and developing shared perceptions about communication and information sharing are facets of social capital that seem to ensure a more effective knowledge and information flow.

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