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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Common Ground? Explaining the Willingness to Share Knowledge in Organizational Teams

Common Ground? Explaining the Willingness to Share Knowledge in Organizational Teams
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Author(s): Pernill G. A. van der Rijt (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Copyright: 2006
Pages: 3
Source title: Emerging Trends and Challenges in Information Technology Management
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-019-6.ch100
ISBN13: 9781616921286
EISBN13: 9781466665361


Knowledge is a resource that is considered to be important for organizational success and survival (Hinds & Pfeffer, 2003). Nevertheless, processes of knowledge sharing in organizations are often far from optimal. This can be partially explained by the unwillingness of employees to share knowledge (Hall, 2001; Hinds & Pfeffer, 2003). The willingness to share knowledge is closely related to social relationships. The stronger these relationships are, the more employees are willing to exchange knowledge with their colleagues (Hinds & Pfeffer, 2003). The aim of this paper is to explain how the relationship of team members with their team influences their willingness to give their knowledge to their colleagues and to collect knowledge from these colleagues. Here, the relationship between team members and their team is characterized by idiocentrism and allocentrism. These concepts correspond to individualism and collectivism respectively. On the basis of a literature review, expectations about the relationship between idiocentrism, allocentrism, and the willingness to share knowledge will be formulated. These expectations will be tested in an empirical study. The findings of the study will be presented and suggestions for future research will be formulated.

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