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Organizational readiness for successful knowledge sharing: challenges for public sector managers.

Taylor, W. Andrew and Wright, Gillian H. (2004) Organizational readiness for successful knowledge sharing: challenges for public sector managers. Information resources management journal, 17 (2). pp. 22-37. ISSN 1040-1628

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Abstract

Knowledge sharing in public services has not yet received much attention in the research literature. This paper investigates knowledge sharing in one public service context and identifies factors that influence the readiness of an organization to share knowledge effectively. Using participant observation, document analysis, interviews (n=30) and a survey (n=132), data are presented to highlight antecedents to effective knowledge sharing in healthcare service delivery. Through factor analysis and regression modeling, we have isolated six factors that are significant predictors of effective knowledge sharing. Our research is broadly consistent with previous findings that an innovative culture, a capacity to learn from failure and good information quality are strong predictors of successful knowledge sharing. However, we also identify factors associated with change management, and a predisposition to confront performance indicators, that significantly influence the knowledge sharing process. While we argue that our six-factor model may be equally relevant to private sector firms, we suggest that the peculiar nature of the public sector environment poses unique challenges for healthcare managers who seek to develop a knowledge sharing capability.

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