Revisiting knowledge sharing from the organizational change perspective

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Purpose – The purpose of this study is to identify how knowledge sharing literature has discussed task, structure, technology and people as elements of organizational change and to examine the interactions between the four elements of knowledge sharing. Design/methodology/approach – The research questions guiding the study are: How do organizational change elements influence knowledge sharing? and What are the critical elements of organizational change in relation to knowledge sharing? Based on Leavitt’s (1965) organizational change model, 133 articles published between 2000 and 2012 from 13 journals were reviewed and analyzed. Findings – The total number of articles covering task, structure, technology and people in knowledge sharing was 49, 79, 49 and 97, respectively. Of all references, 97 articles (72 per cent) discussed the important aspects of people, and 79 articles (59 per cent) emphasized the influential role of organizational structure in knowledge sharing. The highest frequency of interactions (48 articles) was the interaction between structure and people (Interaction 5). Research limitations/implications – To capture broader phenomena on knowledge sharing in organizational change, multiple data sources and a variety of journals with a longer timeframe should be collected and a more comprehensive review should be conducted. All perspectives of organizational change were not applied to this study. Theoretically, this study attempted to illuminate how knowledge sharing has been explored through the lens of four elements in organizational change and the interactions between the elements. This study attempted to expand the use of Leavitt’s (1965) model by applying interactive relationships among the elements to knowledge sharing. Practical implications – The findings can advance strategic and managerial practice by informing the planning and development of knowledge sharing associated with change in organizations. A key question is how to identify the major component of change which will trigger the other changes in the current architecture of knowledge sharing in their organizations. This study suggests that elements of structure and people, when organization face either planned or unplanned change, are critical for successful knowledge sharing by making the interactive connections with other components of change. Originality/value – The contributions of this study are that it provides an integrative review in selected journals of knowledge sharing in terms of organizational change. By examining how knowledge sharing studies have addressed the four change factors and multi component changes, this study explains one change in knowledge sharing leads to multi-component changes. Additional contribution is that it makes connections between knowledge sharing and organizational change.
Publisher
EMERALD GROUP PUBLISHING LTD
Issue Date
2015-11
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Citation

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT, v.39, no.9, pp.769 - 797

ISSN
2046-9012
DOI
10.1108/EJTD-06-2015-0042
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/212422
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