Knowledge Sharing Barriers – Not Sure How to Get Past These

Have been doing research for my project at work and came across this article: Three-dozen knowledge sharing barriers

As useful as this list may be, I’m still plagued by the issue of how to get past these … (the technology barriers are probably the easiest to confront; however, it’s the individual and organizational barriers that give me most of the heartburn)

Individual Barriers:

  • general lack of time to share knowledge, and time to identify colleagues in need of specific knowledge;
  • apprehension of fear that sharing may reduce or jeopardise people’s job security;
  • low awareness and realisation of the value and benefit of possessed knowledge to others;
  • dominance in sharing explicit over tacit knowledge such as know-how and experience that requires hands-on learning, observation, dialogue and interactive problem solving;
  • use of strong hierarchy, position-based status, and formal power (“pull rank”);
  • insufficient capture, evaluation, feedback, communication, and tolerance of past mistakes that would enhance individual and organisational learning effects;
  • differences in experience levels;
  • lack of contact time and interaction between knowledge sources and recipients;
  • poor verbal/written communication and interpersonal skills;
  • age differences;
  • gender differences;
  • lack of social network;
  • differences in education levels;
  • taking ownership of intellectual property due to fear of not receiving just recognition and accreditation from managers and colleagues;
  • lack of trust in people because they misuse knowledge or take unjust credit for it;
  • lack of trust in the accuracy and credibility of knowledge due to the source; and
  • differences in national culture or ethnic background; and values and beliefs associated with it (language is part of this).

Organizational Barriers:

  • integration of KM strategy and sharing initiatives into the company’s goals and strategic approach is missing or unclear;
  • lack of leadership and managerial direction in terms of clearly communicating the benefits and values of knowledge sharing practices;
  • shortage of formal and informal spaces to share, reflect and generate (new) knowledge;
  • lack of transparent rewards and recognition systems that would motivate people to share more of their knowledge;
  • existing corporate culture does not provide sufficient support for sharing practices;
  • deficiency of company resources that would provide adequate sharing opportunities;
  • external competitiveness within business units or functional areas and between subsidiaries can be high (e.g. not invented here syndrome);
  • communication and knowledge flows are restricted into certain directions (e.g. top-down);
  • physical work environment and layout of work areas restrict effect sharing practices;
  • internal competitiveness within business units, functional areas, and subsidiaries can be high;
  • hierarchical organisation structure inhibits or slows down most sharing practices; and
  • size of business units often is not small enough and unmanageable to enhance contact and facilitate ease of sharing.
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    Guess that’s why they’re paying me the “big bucks” for this project. (yeah! right!).

    I’m curious as to anyone’s thoughts on how to confront these head on …

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    About Rory

    I make my home in the central part of the Garden State along with my family. When I'm not working as an Instructional Designer (focusing mostly on Web-Based learning ... and other eLearning technologies) or researching something, I'm found at home playing computer or video games. Among other things, I volunteer as a choir member and catechist for 8th graders at my parish.
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    2 Responses to Knowledge Sharing Barriers – Not Sure How to Get Past These

    1. Hi, Rory.

      See 10 Reasons Why People Don’t Share Their Knowledge at http://stangarfield.googlepages.com/10reasonswhypeopledontsharetheirknow.pdf

      Regards,
      Stan

    2. Rory says:

      Hi, Stan.

      Thanks for the document …
      I also checked out your webpage and blog; and have bookmarked it. Looks like this is going to be a great resource for me in my new project work right now.

      Thanks
      -Rory

    Comments are closed.