Knowledge sharing in manufacturing SMEs: survey findings and analysis
Van Leeuwen, Manon
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Cormican, K,Van Leeuwen, M. (2006) 'Knowledge Sharing in Manufacturing SMEs: Survey Findings and Analysis' In: Exploiting The Knowledge Economy: Issues, Applications And Case Studies. Amsterdam, Netherlands : IOS Press.
This paper reports on it study of European manufacturing SMEs in the metallurgical sector. The goal of the research is to ascertain the extent and nature of knowledge sharing that takes place within these organisations; the barriers experienced; and finally whether specific Structures, systems arc in place to enable effective knowledge sharing. We found that while information and knowledge is shared it is done in an ad-hoc way and formal systems are not used. The study revealed that the barriers that prevent people from knowledge sharing include; lack of time; inability to make tacit knowledge explicit; communication difficulties and lack of trust, Respondents also identified critical areas that needed attention. These include the need for structuring and organising knowledge sharing, effective communication, learn building as well as the ability to use computer systems. This analysis provides the critical information needed to guide the development of tailored support structures in order to equip employees with the skills and competences needed to become more effective in a knowledge economy.