Research in knowledge management (KM) has recently revealed that barriers to knowledge sharing (KS) can significantly influence KS and reduce creativity. KS is a critical contributor to creativity and innovation among individuals in organizations. This paper introduces a framework using the Lotus Blossom technique to classify KS barriers. This technique emphasizes the power of brainstorming on the field of interest by the application of a visual representation of ideas. An exploration of steps to classify barriers is discussed. One of the key aims of the framework is to ensure that barriers can be classified in ways that best identify in order to find ways to remove them. A review of a large number of KM articles in the literature has identified 160 barriers to KS in a variety of organizations. These were classified into eight themes: Social, Individual, Culture, Technology, Political, Organization, Content, and Routine, procedure and process. The paper, then, discussed the most significant barriers to KS: Psychological ownership, Lack of a motivation, Lack of trust, Lack of incentive and reward systems, Lack of organization culture, Lack of leadership, Lack of technical support, Insufficient technology infrastructure. Implications and future research in this area are also proposed.
Below is a list of some organisational knowledge sharing barriers outlined
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.
Construction/Engineering firms have been managing knowledge informally for years but the challenges facing industry today mean that most organisations now need a more structured coherent approach to knowledge management. It argues the importance of aligning KM initiatives to the business goals and managing the key aspects of people, processes and technology equally. A gap analysis identified key shortcomings with the current knowledge management approach at the FTSE100 Company.
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