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Knowledge Management: A Framework

for building a Knowledge Sharing Culture


Palvinderjit Kaur

April 2007

UCTI Working Paper

Knowledge Management: A Framework for building a
Knowledge Sharing Culture
Palvinderjit Kaur
Asia Pacific University College of Technology & Innovation
Technology Park Malaysia
Bukit Jalil, 5700 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
April 2007

Knowledge management has now become the ultimate goal and business strategy in
many organisations to gain the competitive edge. Knowledge is known to be the most
powerful and intellectual asset in organisation which require managing and sharing
capabilities. Organisations will be able to upgrade their position by becoming
knowledge intensive organisations if they start valuing knowledge and use it as a
powerful tool to meet business challenges.
Knowledge repository implementation will add value to the success of knowledge
management by providing a new platform for continuous learning process. The process
of creating, managing and storing knowledge requires a new shift that now focuses on
knowledge sharing to leverage the organisational capital asset which is the knowledge.
The entire concept of knowledge management will not work if a knowledge sharing
culture is not established. This paper describes concepts such as the 3C‟s and CoPs
which need to be incorporated to guarantee the success of knowledge management.
By examining the application of models and frameworks for knowledge management a
framework for a building knowledge sharing culture is recommended. No knowledge
can be managed if sharing capabilities are not supported with the cultural and
technological shifts. With this understanding, the framework includes 5 key enablers
which are simplified and presented as a checklist to guide organisational interest in
implementing knowledge management. Methods which can be adopted to encourage
the success of the recommended framework are then discussed.
Knowledge management with the strong support of a knowledge sharing culture will
raise any organisation to a new level for meeting business challenges This can be
achieved with the creation of knowledge repositories and generating knowledge
workers as part of their business strategy.
Keywords: Knowledge management, knowledge sharing, models, framework and key
is also about the sharing element that is the
1. Introduction most important aspect that is still difficult to be
Organisations in today‟s world are viewing a established and achieved by organisations. The
new business strategy which includes reason for this is that knowledge is known to
knowledge management as their ultimate goal be the most powerful asset to an individual.
for competition advantage and success factors. Authors such as Koulopoulas and Frappaolo
According to the Head of Knowledge (1999) and Polanyi (1964) highlight that the
Management in Hindustan Lever Limited, only irreplaceable capital organisations possess
“knowledge management refers to all is their knowledge.
systematic activities for the creation and
sharing of knowledge that connect people to Regardless of the fact that knowledge is either
people and people to information” (Murty, explicit or tacit, it is important to be shared and
2004). improved continuously. Churman (1971)
mentions that knowledge is a collection of
Knowledge management is not just about information that resides in the person‟s mind.
capturing and disseminating knowledge but it

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2. Knowledge of information gets written down and the rest

is in people‟s heads” (Hickins, 1999). He is
It is true, explicit knowledge can be easily
concerned as he believes that the need to create
stored compared to tacit knowledge. Explicit
a knowledge intensive organisation becomes
knowledge concentrates on formal and
crucial because the organisation‟s risk will
systematic documentation that is made public
include the loss of knowledge when an
to all domain users (Conway and Silgar, 2003)
employee leaves the organisation. Therefore
but it is the tacit knowledge which evolves
the individual should be allowed and
from experience and intuition which is not
encouraged to share knowledge. Knowledge
being shared and explored (Cornell et al,
storing and sharing should be supported with
2003). It is now incredibly important for
repositories that can be accessed by all
organisations to value and manage both the
employees suggested by Brown and Woodland
explicit and the tacit knowledge and should
seek ways creating, storing, finding and
acquiring this knowledge with the model Swart (2003) defines “knowledge intensive
suggested by Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995). organisations in terms of their emphasis on the
This model allows conceptualisation of nature and quality of their highly skilled
knowledge which is crucial as it is known as human capital. In addition, work processes that
“justified belief and commitment based on the create market value through knowledge and
individual capacity to take the effective action” the deployment of the knowledge involving
stated by Alavi and Leider (2001). innovation, initiative and competence should
be built into the organisation”.
In addition Davenport and Prusak (1998)
noted that organisations should view Therefore it becomes extremely important for
knowledge as a “fluid mix of frame the survival of any organisation to be
experiences, values, contextual information knowledge intensive with the establishment of
and expert insight that provides a framework knowledge repositories that can be shared by
for evaluating and incorporating new the employees in the organisation.
experiences and information”. Therefore
organisations should focus on sharing their
knowledge especially using documentation and
repositories. The knowledge should include 2.2 Knowledge Repositories
tacit knowledge from business processes,
routines and norms which encapsulate the
application of best practices to become The relationship between data, information and
knowledge intensive organisation as suggested knowledge is important to be understood
by Malhotra (2004). (Furlong, 2001). Data are raw facts such as
figures that can be stored easily. The data
becomes information when the human mind
interprets the combination of data in a more
2.1 Knowledge Intensive meaningful format, such as a report. As
Organisation information resides in human minds it will
become knowledge only when more and more
valuable ideas, insights and interpretations are
“A knowledge intensive organisation relies on created, stored and shared. This is only
human capital and knowledge as being a possible if knowledge repositories are created
source of competitive advantage, where as discussed by Marchand (2000) and Stewart
knowledge has more importance than other (1999).
inputs such as physical or financial capital”
(Starbuck, 1992). Knowledge is an intangible Authors such as Davenport and Marchand
resource for an organisation (Svieby, 1977), (2000), Bukowitz and Williamns (1999),
utilising this resource becomes the source of Davenport and Prusak (2000), Stewart (1999),
innovation and strategic renewal for the Nonaka and Takeuchi (1999) and Koulopoulos
success criteria of knowledge sharing. and Frappaolo (1999) all state that knowledge
repositories are “a set of knowledge categories,
Nonaka and Takeuchi‟s model can be used to the location of the knowledge and in some
focus on the creation of knowledge, known as cases its condition and value”. (Davenport
the Knowledge Value (KnoVa) (Tissen, et al, T.H, 1999)
2000) to start the knowledge sharing culture.
Therefore organisations should make these
David Owens, Vice President of Knowledge knowledge repositories accessible using
Management at Unisys Corp quoted “Only 2% knowledge maps or expertise directories to

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enhance knowledge sharing capabilities. The sharing to work with the power of the internet
Knowledge Life Cycle model can be used for and networking.
knowledge creation and is good for
identification of tacit and explicit knowledge One clear discovery is that if organisations are
(Polanyi, 1997). not moving forward to knowledge
management then they will face some of the
Based on a review of the ABCs of Knowledge following warning signs that are not healthy
Management compiled by Santosus and for their business‟ success.
Surmacs in 2001 “explicit knowledge consists
of anything that can be documented, achieved The warning signs are:
and codified often with the help of Information 1. Repetition of mistakes.
Technology (IT) but it is harder to grasp the
concept of tacit knowledge the know-how 2. Duplication of work.
contained in people‟s heads”. The challenges
are to create knowledge repositories that will 3. Failure to share good ideas.
recognise, generate, manage and share tacit
4. Loss of competitive position in the
knowledge. This will provide an excellent
market place.
solution for competitive edge within the
organisation ensuring that best practices and 5. Inefficiencies in launching new
knowledge are safe and will be just one click technology.
It becomes equally reflective that with the
incorporation of knowledge management,
warning signs can be reduced and
2.3 Importance of Knowledge organisations should obtain benefits such as
Management having a dynamic and ever growing number of
activities and knowledge that can be freely
shared if knowledge sharing culture is
In a nutshell, organisations needs to recognise cultivated in their organisation.
the power of knowledge management as it is a
way to obtain the most valuable intellectual
assets as confirmed by Santosus and Surmacs
(2001). The advantages of knowledge 3. Knowledge Sharing
management that they identify are:
Hjelmsoe (2003) stated that “knowledge
1. The fostering of “innovation by management is 5% technology and 95%
encouraging the free flow of ideas”. management”. The prime aim of “knowledge
2. Improvement in “customer service by sharing is to share and enrich organisational
streamlining response times”. knowledge by cultivating the culture of sharing
at the individual level right up to management
3. Boosting revenue by getting products level” (Gurteen, 1999).
or services to market faster.
Knowledge management includes sets of
4. Enhancing “employee retention” rates principles, processes, organisation structures
by recognising “the value of and technology applications which are required
employees‟ knowledge and rewarding to be shared and leveraged if the sharing
them for it”. culture is cultivated. Webster‟s New Collegiate
Dictionary (Gurteen, 1999) defined culture as
5. “Streamlining operations and “the integrated pattern of human behaviour
reducing costs by eliminating that includes thought, speech, action, and
redundant or unnecessary processes”. artefacts and depends upon man's capacity for
learning and transmitting knowledge”. This
The same review was supported by
culture (Gurteen, 1999) should be transparent
Robert.E.Cole (2002) by the claims that
in organisation and the establishment of
organisations will benefit in areas such as
community of practices should be formed
globalisation, global integration, increased
growth and scope and networking, as
employees will be able to manage, share and Research was conducted in Sugar Land Texas,
retain their knowledge. This becomes possible USA, where a team was set up with common
with knowledge repositories and Information or community goals to a problem solving
Technology which allows collaboration and situation. The team was reported to be highly

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motivated and was experiencing a new by Wenger (2004) were used in the survey.
situation where multiple ideas, expertise and The elements are:
skills was seen being discussed and shared
among the team members to decide on the 1. Domain – Task, team and area of
suggested solution to the problem domain. “knowledge” to be explored.
The team was also reported to be 2. Community – “group of people for
collaborating, pooling and disseminating their whom the domain is relevant, the
collective experiences using the knowledge quality of the relationships among
repositories made available. It is noted that the members and the definition of the
knowledge sharing process will not only boundary between inside and outside
encouraged the team member but will lead the of the community”.
organisation to become knowledge learning
organisation. 3. Practice – “body of knowledge,
methods, tools, stories, cases and
Senge (1999) suggests that “the rate at which documents which members share and
organisations learn may become the only develop”.
sustainable source of competitive advantage”.
Generative learning or double loop learning From the survey conducted with 50
(Argyris, 1997) can be applied by participants, more than 80% were interested in
organisations where any experiences or establishing CoPs in their organisation as it
feedback that had improved from the existing was not formally done and highlighted that the
knowledge is made compulsory to be stored in concept had started but needs improvement
knowledge repositories. This application will especially for the knowledge repositories as it
encourage continuous learning and will be the lacked the technological and cultural
base for ongoing examination which can be establishment which were not fully formalised
part of evaluation and measurement process. and supported by management.
This is required for the benchmarking and
checking the optimisation of the knowledge Therefore senior management involvement is
and the way the organisation goes about using important in the creation of CoPs and the
the knowledge for defining and solving sharing of knowledge should be value as one
problems. of the business strategy and communicated to
all employees. Denning (2004) supported his
As many organisations are rigorously claim by stating that with CoPs established in
adopting knowledge management with the best organisations, it increases sharing of common
people producing and applying the best interest or passion in an area of competence
technology, using the best product or service, which results in a continuous learning effort.
seems to be more effective with the cultural Opinion leaders who believe in practices and
shift and the creation of Communities of behaviour should be appointed to the CoPs to
Practice (CoPs) within the knowledge sharing lead the sharing and management of the
domain. knowledge (Cheng, 2002) because knowledge
is power for organisations in today‟s world.
3.1 Communities of Practices
3.2 Why share knowledge?
Communities of Practice (CoPs) are workers
or experts who share and utilise their
knowledge assets. Wenger (2004) defines Generally, organisations do realise the need for
“CoPs as groups of people who share a passion knowledge sharing. Gurteen (1999) believes
for something that they know how to do (tacit that if an organisation does not cultivate a
knowledge) and who interact regularly in order knowledge sharing culture then it will face the
to learn to do it better”. CoPs are “practitioner following difficulties:
who use knowledge in their activities and are 1. Intangible products such as ideas,
in the best position to manage and share the processes, and information will take
knowledge” (Wenger, 2004). “a growing share of global trade from
A survey was conducted by the author in 2005 the traditional, tangible goods of the
using Global shared service centre with IT manufacturing economy”.
excellence and one University College in
Malaysia as sample case study to define the 2. There will be an increasing turnover
impact of CoPs. Three key elements suggested of staff.” People don‟t take a job for

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life any more. When someone leaves 4. People feels that the effort of
an organisation their knowledge sharing knowledge required trust
walks out of door with them”. and support that might not be
encouraged and recognised by
3. An organisation will not know what it the organisation.
knows. “Large global or even small
geographically dispersed organisation 5. Lack of time as people feel it
does not know what they know. takes more work to create and
Expertise learnt and applied in one store knowledge. It feels like an
part of the organisation is not additional task besides their
leveraged in another”. existing duties.

4. There will be accelerated change in 6. Fear of “inadequate technology,

technology, business and social needs internal competition and top
which will get unnoticed if not being down decision making” barriers.

Organisations that have successfully One of the solutions to overcome the above
implemented knowledge sharing are Ernst and problems is to apply the 3C‟s of the knowledge
Young, Anderson Consulting, IBM and British sharing concept.
Petroleum. For the global shared service centre
used in the survey it was suggested that they
follow in the footsteps of the successful 3.4 The 3C’s of Knowledge
organisations, meanwhile for the university
college the example of Czeh University that
implemented knowledge sharing in their
academic community should be seen as a good
The 3C‟s of knowledge sharing suggested by
example (Cesh,2003).
Skyrme in 2002 is an application and proven
These successful organisations explained that theory that organisations should be applied to
with the use of technology, such as telephone, initialise the effort of knowledge management:
e-mail, video conferencing and the internet,
1. Culture change – “the way we do
knowledge can then be easily shared regardless
things here”
of the place and time dimension. It will be a
tremendous effort for organisations to analyse Organisations should carry out a culture
how and why people do not want to share audit through questionnaires and
knowledge. This lack of willingness to share interviews to solve the issue pointed out
has become the drawback for knowledge by Skyrme in section 3.3.
management success.
For example, Siemens incorporated an
3.3 Why people do not want to audit culture and built their CoPs with a
share knowledge? rewards scheme to encourage the
knowledge sharing capabilities.

Analysis by Skyrme (2002) highlighted that

companies should analyse reasons why 2. Challenging through Collaboration
knowledge sharing is not taking place in their and Competition
organisation. The following list highlights the
key issues identified: By applying competition in a healthy way
Skyrme‟s first four key issues can be
1. Knowledge is power therefore improved. This can be achieved through
employees are worried about the implementation of peer reviews;
losing their job security. continuous benchmarking of internal
processes and functions. Standards of
2. People feel superior therefore measurement need to be reviewed and
they do not want to learn from benchmarked for leveraging learning and
others. sharing within the organisation.

3. Not realising the power of useful

knowledge because unaware of
3. Commitment
sharing of best practices.

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One of the most important aspects of it‟s about improving the way
knowledge sharing is commitment and things get done by sharing the
this should start right with a management little things”. (Gurteen, 1999)
motivation scheme.
Making it Knowledge sharing starts at
Rewarding systems and a development happen individual, department, team or
programme should be in place. Groupware organisation level with the
functions and application details confirm concept of CoPs.
that the 3C‟s would increase Fundamentally, “sharing is
communication, collaboration and about being more open” in the
coordination (Chaffey, 1998). workplace and the relationship
with others.

3.5 The Knowledge Sharing The role of Technology plays a crucial

Culture technology transformational role as it
encourages collaboration and
sharing of knowledge globally
Knowledge sharing strategy application is with the usage of internet,
important to encourage “people to work intranet and groupware systems.
together effectively” (Skyrme, 2002). This
strategy implementation will allow and direct
any organisation to achieve the “ultimate goal Together with the knowledge sharing strategy
of knowledge management” that is to increase identified above, organisations can apply the
sharing of knowledge and productivity of its following 7 steps/incentives for sharing
employees. suggested by Skyrme (2002) to enhance the
knowledge sharing strategy.
The knowledge sharing strategy (Gurteen,
1999) includes: 1. Hire people who will share – Texas
Instruments started having interactive
Rewarding To encourage “knowledge interviews at their recruiting process.
knowledge sharing, an ideas database 2. Develop trust – a professional code of
sharing should be created and people conduct was used by all employees at
should be paid for their Buckman Laboratories.
contributions, regardless of
quality whether the ideas are 3. Vary motivations – “Gemini and
brought to fruition or plain Ernst & Young applied incentives at
crazy”. three levels. A solid business case for
senior executives; relevant benefits
Motivating Knowledge sharing should be for departments” and incentive should
knowledge part of personal interest as be provided to the employee with
sharing knowledge sharing is power. To positive behaviours and results.
make “knowledge sharing a
reality sharing individual 4. Show public recognition – “Harris has
knowledge helps them do their a “wall of fame” gallery of employees
jobs more effectively, helps who have excelled at work”,
them retain their jobs, helps meanwhile McDonalds and Kentucky
them in their personal Fried Chicken fast food restaurants
development and career display the employee of the month.
progression; rewards them for 5. Reorganise for sharing – “Northrop
getting things done” and brings Grumman uses integrated product
more personal recognition. teams backed with mentoring
“By sharing your knowledge,
you gain more then you lose. 6. Create communities – “The World
Sharing knowledge is a Bank uses electronic bulletin boards”,
synergistic process, you get which focus on relevant topics and
more out than you put in, increases the use globally on topics
collaboration is important. that the CoPs are sharing.
Knowledge sharing is not only
about sharing great ideas but

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7. Develop leaders – “Capital One knowledge” Leverde (2000).This model is also

formed a group from natural called the SECI process.
knowledge champions to promote
knowledge sharing and develop Knowledge includes both the tacit and explicit
training”. knowledge and is stored and accomplished
through systems, structures and culture. The
In total, knowledge management must connect four steps of the SECI process are described
people to information across a broad spectrum below by KnowledgeBoard (2002).
in the company. This connection includes
creating a knowledge sharing capability in Socialisation – is the “process that transfers
processes and encouraging people to share and tacit knowledge from one person to tacit
use technology to collaborate on global knowledge of another person”. This can be
knowledge repositories and hence successfully achieved through sharing experiences.
allow them to contribute to an organisation‟s Externalisation – is the process of converting
strategic goals. tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge
Increased productivity, accelerated learning amongst individuals within a group with
and faster decision making will be obtained activities such as metaphors, hypotheses and
with the scheme of incentives and motivation. models.

To introduce knowledge management, Combination – Having completed the first

knowledge sharing culture need to be should three steps, “explicit knowledge may then
start at the individual level with the creation of combine through a process of systemising
CoPs and application of popular knowledge concepts into a knowledge system or
management models and frameworks. repositories. This can be achieved by
individuals exchanging and combining
knowledge through media. The media are
documents, meetings, telephone conversations
4 Models and Frameworks and computerised communication networks.
Formal education and training programmes
Knowledge management involves the creation also constitute this form of conversion”.
of value from an organisation‟s intangible
assets, therefore according to Alavi and Leider Internalisation – is the “process of
(1999) “many organisations are developing understanding and absorbing explicit
systems designed specifically to facilitate the knowledge into tacit knowledge held by the
sharing and integration of knowledge” individual”. This can be done with activities
(Montaano et al, 2004). such as “learning by doing” and
“documentation read by individuals where the
Venters (2001) highlighted that knowledge ideas are combined with the tacit knowledge,
management can be concluded and described such as an individual possesses”.
as the essence of knowledge as either “tacit” or
“explicit”. “Tacit knowledge is personal; Nonaka and Takeuchi (1999) also developed
context specific and therefore hard to formalise the Five Phase model for knowledge
and communicate, meanwhile explicit or creation. The model is similar to SECI model
codified knowledge refers to knowledge that is as describe below:
transmittable in a formal and systematic 1. Sharing tacit knowledge – “tacit knowledge
language” (Nonaka and Tackecuhi, 1995). The held by individuals” combining experience and
model created by Nonaka and Takeuchi called best practice.
the “Knowledge Conversion” model or
“Knowledge Life Cycle” is an important key 2. Creating concepts – this is the most
element to knowledge sharing. intensive phase. “Once a shared model is
formed in the field of interaction (tacit-
Organisational knowledge creation process is explicit), the self-organising team articulates
based on a basic framework that contains two through continuous dialogue to form a
dimensions. One is “epistemological that collective reflection” of the knowledge. The
explains that only individuals can create process then verbalises the knowledge into
knowledge therefore it is a process that words and phrases which is then crystallised
organisationally amplifies the knowledge into explicit concepts (externalisation).
created by individuals and crystallises it and
another is the ontological that relates to the 3. Justifying concepts – determine if “the
interaction between tacit and explicit newly created concepts are truly worthwhile
for the organisation and society”.

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4. Building an archetype – converting the Sharing – “knowledge through its automatic

justified concepts into “tangible or concrete access and distribution to users on the basis of
archetype”. “An archetype can be considered their needs and interests”.
as the prototype of new product development
process”. Applying – “support of decisions, actions,
problem solving, providing job aids and
5. Cross levelling of knowledge (spiral training”.
process) –This interactive spiral process takes
place intra and inter organisationally to create Creating (advanced stage by Knowledge
and grow knowledge as knowledge creation is Management in firms) – “generating or
a never ending process. (Tannembaum and discovering new knowledge through Research
Alliger, 2000) and Development, experimentation, lessons
learned, creative thinking and innovation”.
Systematic combination of the aspects stated
below in the cross levelling in knowledge and In relation to models and frameworks
the interactive spiral process are important to availability within the discipline of knowledge
examine the effectiveness of knowledge management, (Montano et al, 2004) suggested
management implementation in any that some of industry successful
organisation (Leverde, 2000).The aspects are: implementation are important to be examined
to determine the models similarities and
Cross levelling of knowledge - (spiral differences to guide the recommendation to
process): build knowledge sharing culture framework.

1. Knowledge Sharing – is the “extent to The similarities of the models and framework
which people share their knowledge”. findings highlighted that Ernst & Young,
Knowledge Associates, Marquardt and O‟Dell
2. Knowledge Accessibility – is the “extent use a set of activities for knowledge
to which people have accesses to the management where the emphasis is on a
information they need to make decisions, knowledge cycle. This is inclusive of tasks
solve problems, and perform job tasks such as acquiring knowledge by Anderson
and service customers”. Consulting, Knowledge Associates and
Marquardt. American Management System,
3. Knowledge Assimilation – is the “extent Ernst and Young and O‟Dell state the first step
to which people learn or assimilate the is to find knowledge and the collect the
knowledge they need to perform well”. combination of “tacit and explicit knowledge”.
4. Knowledge Application– is the “extent to The generation and creation of knowledge r
which people apply and use knowledge to needs to be ongoing and continuous learning
effectively make decisions, solve process. It was analysed that that the same
problems and service customers”. models suggested by Nonaka and Takeuchi
(1995) with the application of five-phase
Besides aspects above, Rastogi (2000) and model of Tannembum and Alliger (2000) is
Leverde (2000) also suggested that noted to be the most popular combination for
management should include the following set knowledge management application in many
of operations in their consideration for organisations.
knowledge management.
The difference is that Arthur Anderson
Identification – of the “knowledge required Consulting uses a hybrid collection of
for a competitively effective implementation of frameworks such as knowledge cycle and
the enterprise strategy”. conversion of tacit and explicit knowledge but
firstly the model actually evaluates and defines
Mapping – “the existing and available the role of knowledge before aligning to their
knowledge including expertise and skills”. business strategy as defined by the steps of
Syrme (2000). As for Anderson Consulting.,
Capturing – “the existing knowledge through
the strategy first is to identify processes,
its formalised representation”.
cultural and technological aspects.
Acquiring – “the needed knowledge and
Conducive environment for knowledge sharing
information including know-how”.
will require crucial application of two major
Storing – “the existing, acquired, and created elements which include the motivation and
knowledge in properly indexed and interlinked recognition as the key success factors for
knowledge repositories”. knowledge sharing and is suggested by
American Management System.

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This can be confirmed with the establishment of old knowledge with the modification
of the intensification scheme and Community on new knowledge must be placed and
of Practices (CoPs). Implementation of a stored using knowledge repositories in
feedback mechanism in Arthur Anderson the format of identified knowledge
Consulting prepared the organisations to create categories or maps.
an environment for continuous learning which
provided freedom to share and improve the Individual level within the CoPs needs to
existing repositories. This knowledge has now identify and select one leader who will be
guided the framework for building the called as opinion leader to guide and
knowledge sharing culture. influence the teams to share their
knowledge. To motivate the CoPs to
share knowledge, cultural audit and
rewarding schemes needs to be
5. Recommendation for communicated and integrated within the
building a knowledge-sharing organisation.
framework 3. Technologies, methods and tools are
important in the effort to build and share
From the preceding investigation of models of knowledge and will include the
and frameworks, it can be seen that knowledge concept of Computer Supported
management includes much more than a Cooperative Work. This concept will
knowledge cycle or tasks. Therefore the steps assist in identifying the workflow of the
that can be taken as a holistic view to create a knowledge sharing, with the assistance of
generic framework to build the knowledge technology that will allow the sharing and
sharing culture will require the following: dissemination of knowledge globally.
1. Organisations should emphasise on Accessibility to workflow, document
cultural aspects as claimed by Bob systems, real time collaborations, online
Buckmans of Bukman Labs learning systems, portalisation and
(Montano,et,.al. 2004), who stated that custom web applications are some of the
90% of knowledge management effort in technology enablers being utilised (Early
any organisation is cultural and this was & Associates, 2005).
confirmed by Larry Bobbitt of Anderson
Consulting who explained that the first 4. Establishing a framework should include
step is to evaluate and define the role of a measurement and feedback step as
knowledge as this will takes up 80% of suggested by Arthur Anderson
the effort to perform the cultural shift. Consulting. Continuous learning will
involve the implementation of feedback
This can be confirmed with the mechanisms to enable an iterative process
establishment of the 3C‟s of Knowledge to focus on the key enablers that
Sharing and the steps suggested by (identified below).
Skyrme (2000) to help build a knowledge
sharing culture. This will include the
analysis of the business strategy, how to
motivate employees with the 6 Identification of Key
establishment of community of practices Enablers
(CoPs) as defined by Wenger (2004).
Continuous learning should be extended The key enablers in this section are
to other groups to meet corporate recommended for any global shared service
business strategy. (Senge, 1990). centre, academic institute or any organisation
wishing to setup a knowledge sharing culture.
2. The second step is to focus on
knowledge; this refers to the Nonaka and
Takeuchi Model (1995), the knowledge
life cycle or conversion. The
identification of tacit and explicit
knowledge should be identified for the
CoPs. The process of knowledge sharing
should start with creation, acquiring and
generating of new knowledge. As for the
continuous learning process, acquisition

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waste of effort in performing the same

Framework for building Knowledge Sharing Culture
tasks that might not benefit the teams
because it is not captured or not being
Knowledge Management collaborated.

Identification of the workflow to capture

the knowledge that is shared in the
community. This will include the
Feedback acquiring, finding and generation or
creation of knowledge that they can share
Sharing and document in knowledge repositories.
Technology CoPs
Mission and Vision plan statement should
include knowledge management is part of
their business strategy. Management
should create 3C‟s culture and
1) Culture incorporate rewarding scheme.
The impact of culture was defined in the
recommendation of the 3C‟s and is seen to be 3) Knowledge sharing and accessibility –
extremely crucial. It is the first alignment in Community of Practices (CoPs)
the organisation strategy. Organisations should
focus on the following cultural issues: The CoPs will be formed and the knowledge
sharing capabilities need to be established with
The employees understanding of the following:
knowledge management and their value
asset that is their intellectual capital. Granting access to the CoPs to access the
generic knowledge repositories using the
A review of the current workflow to technology support.
check if there is any information or
knowledge sharing capabilities in Creation of workflow to pilot and to
existence. Interviewing personnel identify how and who will be creating,
especially middle management, who will storing and generating knowledge. Spiral
be identified as the opinion leaders. process model can be utilised to ensure
collaboration effort and sharing takes
A review to check if knowledge sharing place using knowledge repositories.
best practice is conducive for the case
study environment with the analysis of Rewards and benefits used as motivation
management strategy and processes, factors using the 3C‟s plan.
technology in the current situation.

Identification of the community of 4) Technology enabler

practices (CoPs‟) to be used as the prime
source of users that will be piloted for Technology is not a driver for knowledge
this framework utilisation. management but it is rather the cultural shift.
But it needs to be in place to allow the CoPs to
Review of a questionnaire to allow the collaborate and share knowledge globally.
community of practice (CoPs) to provide Organisations should review the following:
their understanding and knowledge
awareness of knowledge management. Installation of Computer Supported and
Cooperative systems (CSCW) such as
groupware systems that allow knowledge
2) Knowledge Identification to be shared regardless of the time and
place dimension..
The Nonaka and Takeuchi knowledge life
cycle model identified a number of core steps All information and knowledge being
that organisation can apply to pilot the stored and delivered electronically using
identification of knowledge: the knowledge repositories.

Analysis of the report of opinion leaders A focus to monitor and to minimise

with regard to the community of practice duplication and rework.
(CoPs) feedback. This can include the
warning signs such as duplication and

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Knowledge Management: A Framework for Building a Knowledge Sharing Culture WP-07-04

A focus on simplicity and ease of use benchmarking the establishment of knowledge

rather than complex functionality. management in the organisation.

Avoiding the need to completely rebuild Organisations should start off with the review
sites as new technologies and of the 3C‟s and the implementation of 7 steps
opportunities arise. or incentives to enhance and encourage
knowledge sharing to be cultivated in their
Ensuring the technology is reliable and organisation with the concept of CoPs .
provides accessibility to the community
of practice to reuse and acquire Therefore why wait, the framework for
knowledge. building the knowledge sharing culture should
be adopted to obtain and manage the most
5) Feedback and Measurement valuable intellectual asset (knowledge). By
adopting a knowledge sharing culture, the key
Feedback and measurement will be required to foundation for collaboration can be obtained
test and manage the acceptance of the and will increase the advantages of the
knowledge being share. This is important also organisation to gain a competitive edge.
to monitor the continuous learning process.
The following can be use as checklist: References

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