Knowledge sharing in a collaborative networked environment
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Cormican, K. and Dooley, L. (2007) 'Knowledge sharing in a collaborative networked environment'. Journal of Information and Knowledge Management, 16 (2):105-115.
Knowledge is a key resource that must be managed within organisations and across collaborative enterprise networks. In particular, the two major challenges that face such organisations are; ensuring that they have the appropriate knowledge to support their operations and ensuring that they optimise these knowledge resources available to them. In recent years, researchers, consultants and industrialists have developed approaches in an attempt to address these requirements. Most of these approaches have been technology oriented. In other words, the implementation of information technology systems is seen as the solution to enterprise knowledge management problems. However, research indicates that organisations are still failing to convert individual skills and competencies into tangible products and services. Knowledge management is an emerging discipline and it is still not very well understood or managed in industry. Consequently, new knowledge initiatives are not exploited to their full potential. In other words, companies are not reaping the full benefits of knowledge management projects. This paper explores the key constituents to managing knowledge and examines the main problems with sharing knowledge across teams and organisational boundaries. Findings from a qualitative study suggest that the key problems to managing knowledge across a collaborative network are person centric and consequently managers should focus their efforts on improving critical areas such as motivation and trust as well as people oriented methods and tools.