The nature of knowledge and its influence on knowledge sharing practice: Experiences from building the MACROS system
This study investigates how the interactive influences of the nature of knowledge and multiple organizational and technological factors - trust, leadership, incentives and issues, group size and variety, implementation strategy, and technology - facilitated and/or impeded the knowledge sharing processes. Using a case study approach, the research focuses on the modifying effects of four characteristics of knowledge - codifiability, context-embeddedness, practice-embeddedness, and dynamics - on the processes and outcomes of knowledge sharing in a case of building the Multi-Purpose Access for Customer Relations & Operational Support (MACROS) System involving multiple organizations, divisions, and geographically separated offices. The case results suggest that modifying effects occurred along at least three dimensions - codifiability, context-embeddedness, and practice-embeddedness. The levels of codifiability appeared to dictate the implementation strategy; reduced context-embeddedness allowed for more effective group coordination; reduced context-embeddedness also enhanced trust; codified knowledge is more effective than uncodified knowledge in demonstrating concrete incentives; and technology interacts with contextembeddedness and practice-embeddedness. The results of this study have theoretical and practical implications for a larger set of problems encountered in sizable organizations. More specifically, even though the relevance of the nature of knowledge has been widely acknowledged (e.g., [1-3], it is not always clear how it comes into play. This study conceptualized the nature of knowledge as a modifying variable, and the results provide a new and more comprehensive framework for investigating the relevance of the nature of knowledge in knowledge management research.
Proceedings of the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Zhang, Jing and Faerman, Sue R., "The nature of knowledge and its influence on knowledge sharing practice: Experiences from building the MACROS system" (2004). School of Management. 58.