Research Output

Social exchange for knowledge exchange

  The factors that motivate people to codify and share knowledge for the benefit of others have
been identified as a priority area for individual companies (Smith & Farquhar, 2000, p. 27).
They represent the most commonly discussed topic amongst practitioners and academics at
conferences on knowledge management (KM) (Prusak, 1999, p. 6) and highlight an important
area for knowledge research (Holsthouse, 1998, p. 277). To some the encouragement of
employees to contribute knowledge is more important than the issues related its capture,
storage and dissemination (see for example Boisot & Griffiths, 1999).
While academics may theorise over the relative importance of motivating knowledge sharing,
organisations need to find ways to encourage individuals, who have complete discretion over
how they handle their knowledge assets, to use them for the benefit of the firm by sharing
what they know openly and freely. They want to discourage knowledge hoarding – both
wholesale and partial - and knowledge loss caused by employee departure. The sharing of
information and knowledge is important to efforts in social learning. It is argued that with
straightforward access to common resources employees can execute routine tasks quickly;
they can aggregate previously disconnected pieces of information to facilitate innovation in
working practices, product design or service delivery; and they can be liberated from the fear
of losing important intellectual assets if valued colleagues leave the firm

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    HD28 Management. Industrial Management

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    658 General management


Hall, H. (2000). Social exchange for knowledge exchange. In Managing knowledge: conversations and critiques, University of Leicester Management Centre, 10-11 April 2001, 1-23



social learning; orgaizations; knowledge exchange; information sharing;

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