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Challenges and Solutions to Corporate Knowledge Sharing

Corporate knowledge sharing is a critical component of modern knowledge management (KM) because it facilitates new knowledge creation leading to innovations essential to the survival of modern organizations (Gurteen, 1999). However, knowledge sharing is a human issue, and it is people who determine and choose whether or not to share their knowledge willingly (Wheatley, 2001). In reality, there are a number of challenging barriers to employees’ willingness to share knowledge within an organization. These barriers include lack of time, not knowing the value of knowledge, lack of trust, lack of motivation, and belief in the power of knowledge hoarding. Skyrme (2002) believed that lack of time is probably the most common reason given by people in organizations for not sharing their knowledge. According to Skyrme, it is difficult for employees in modern organizations to find time for knowledge sharing because they are often multitasking and pressured by productivity demands and deadlines. To solve this problem, organizations should establish knowledge sharing as a top priority and give employees adequate time and freedom for knowledge sharing and exchange. McElroy (2003) suggested that organizational policies should allow individuals certain extent of freedom to pursue their own ideas and learning agendas and to self-organize into knowledge groups and communities. As an example, Google successfully implemented and benefited from its policy of allowing and paying staff to pursue their own ideas freely during 20% of their work time and encouraging individuals and teams to share details of their projects within the organization (Machlis, 2009).

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