Deterrents to Knowledge-sharing in the Pharmaceutical Industry: A Case Study

Journal of Knowledge Management, Volume 19, Issue 2, April 2015.
Purpose Effective knowledge-sharing is fundamental to stimulation of the process of knowledge absorption. The limited proximal communication between the employees in the pharmaceutical industry stifles their knowledge-sharing behaviour significantly. This study explored deterrents to knowledge-sharing in pharmaceutical manufacturing. Design/methodology/approach A cross-sectional case study, consisting of semi-structured interviews with managers and scientists, was conducted in a multinational pharmaceutical company in Australia. Respondents were asked to answer questions regarding their current knowledge-sharing practices and to identify organisational deterrents to knowledge-sharing. The data were condensed into themes according to the thematic analysis method. Findings The pharmaceutical industry is extensively regulated and its excessive competitiveness is cultivating organisational reticence towards the development of a knowledge-sharing culture. Nine categories of deterrents to intra- (within) and inter-organisational (between organisations) knowledge-sharing have been identified. These categories include high cost of sharing knowledge, information technology limitations, knowledge-hiding, lack of socialisation, lack of trust culture, non-educational mindset, organisational politics, poor leadership and time pressure. Research limitations/implications The population of this study consists of managers and practitioners working for a pharmaceutical company. Hence the generalisability of the findings to other healthcare settings is unknown. Practical implications The findings have implications for leaders and managers who should be aware of these professional diversities, instigators as well as the ripple effects of limited knowledge-sharing in order to guide the organisation towards developing an optimal knowledge-sharing culture. Originality/value A focused investigation of knowledge-sharing behaviour within the pharmaceutical industry in Australia, considering the pressure applied to this industry over the last decade. A case study that specifically focuses on the diversity of deterrents to knowledge-sharing in the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry.
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Management of knowledge creation and sharing to create virtual knowledge-sharing communities: a tracking study

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Journal of Knowledge Management, Volume 19, Issue 2, April 2015.
Purpose The main aim of this study is to address the lack of research on the potential impact of the radical changes in social networking in the so-called network society and indirectly the need to manage and constructively share in the collateral knowledge creation. To do this, a tracking study of the knowledge creation and sharing in a discussion forum has been conducted from a knowledge management perspective. Design/methodology/approach A quantitative content analysis research design has been adopted in accordance with which content, text and messages on the website were critically examined, categories and themes identified and analysed, content coded and interpreted, and the results reported, relative to the research problem and theory.

Both substantive decisions (what and how to code) and technical decisions (how coding will be interpreted) were made during the coding process and the interpretation of the results (Keyton, 2015). Three levels of division were used in the development of the coding system, namely message construction; a summary of criteria and subcriteria; and main links and sublinks (Wagner et al., 2012). The unit of analysis was a website, specifically the southafrica.com online discussion forum, which presented an observable and measurable unit for the dissection of the text into components, criteria, subcriteria and elements to be analysed. Findings Two main findings emerged.

First, it was found empirically that knowledge intervention by an expert in the organisation is in fact possible (and indeed needed as a proactive means) to ensure new knowledge is created and shared by individuals in the forum on a continuous basis. Second, it was found that a good theoretical foundation or framework can indicate the importance of various aspects which should be considered to obtain useful results from the participants or members of the forum through knowledge management. Research limitations/implications The study is limited by the fact that it only focused on the measurement of knowledge management in one online discussion forum, southafrica.com, during two time frames from an organisational perspective in terms of the three Cs. Further research in other settings would enhance the findings of this study, and researchers are encouraged to use the theoretical framework in future studies.

Practical implications The main implication for managers in practice is that the research proved that participants in an online discussion forum quite often regard those members who manage the discussion forum as ‘experts’, but organisations then run the risk that the knowledge created and shared might not support, and/or might be detrimental to, the overall objectives and brand of the organisation. Originality/value This article proposes the use of a theoretical framework to measure knowledge management, as applied to the identified online discussion forum, focusing on the three main components of content, communication and consumer with subcriteria and elements of the knowledge management perspective specifically.

The main findings indicated that knowledge creation and sharing in online discussion forums is best supported if these components are proactively managed by an expert in the organisation to sustain and enhance successful communication.
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Development of ontology from Indian agricultural e-governance data using IndoWordNet: A semantic web approach

Journal of Knowledge Management, Volume 19, Issue 1, February 2015.

Purpose This explorative research study focuses on implementation of semantic web technology on agriculture domain of E-Governance data. The study contributes to an understanding of problems and difficulties in implantations of unstructured and unformatted unique datasets of multilingual local language based electronic dictionary (IndoWordnet). Read more

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Classification of supply chain knowledge: a morphological approach

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of the article is to create a knowledge classification model that can be used by knowledge management (KM) practitioners for establishing a knowledge management framework (KMF) in a supply chain (SC) network. Epistemological as well as ontological aspects of knowledge have been examined. SC networks provide a more generic setting for managing knowledge due to the additional issues concerning flow of knowledge across the boundaries of organizations. Design/methodology/approach – Morphological analysis has been used to build the knowledge classification model. Morphological approach is particularly useful in exploratory research on concepts/entities having multiple dimensions. Knowledge itself has been shown in literature to have many characteristics and the methodology used has enabled a comprehensive classification scheme based on such characteristics.Findings – A single, comprehensive classification model for knowledge that exists in SC networks has been proposed. Nine characteristics, each possessing two or more value options, have been finally included in the model. Research limitations/implications – Knowledge characteristics have been mostly derived from past research with the exception of three which have been introduced without empirical evidence. Although the article is primarily about SC knowledge, the results are fairly generic. Practical implications – The proposed model would be of use in developing KM policies, procedures and establishing knowledge management systems (KMS) in SC networks. The model will cater to both system and people aspects of a KMF.Originality/value – The proposed knowledge classification model based on morphological analysis fills a gap in a vital area of research in KM as well as SC management. No similar classification model of knowledge with all its dimensions has been found in literature.
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Structural social capital and innovation. Is knowledge transfer the missing link?

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Purpose – Individuals and organisations are becoming increasingly involved in collaboration networks to share knowledge and generate innovation. Social Capital (SC) Theory has been adopted in several areas of study to explain how individuals, groups, and organisations manage relationships to generate innovation. However, to date no systematic review has been carried out on the role that structural social capital plays for knowledge transfer and innovation at the interpersonal, inter-unit, and inter-firm levels and therefore the aim of this study is to address this gap.Design/methodology/approach – This review covers studies of social capital in organisational behaviour, strategy, and management over a period of 20 years. Findings – The literature review shows that knowledge types and knowledge transfer processes are the missing links in the relationship between structural social capital and innovation. Moreover, the paper demonstrates that seemingly opposite configurations of social capital are complementary to each other (structural holes vs. dense networks, strong vs. weak ties) and that contextual factors should be considered when discussing the effects of social capital on knowledge transfer and innovation. In addition, it is the balance of different configurations of social capital which enables an individual or a company to explore, access, assimilate, and combine different knowledge types, which will lead to improved innovation outcomes.Originality/value – This review facilitates understanding of the role of social capital for knowledge transfer processes and the mediating role of knowledge transfer processes and knowledge types in the relationship between structural social capital and innovation.
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Use of information and communication technology to support employee-driven innovation in organizations: a knowledge management perspective

Abstract

Purpose – Employee-driven innovation (EDI) involves systematic exploitation of knowledge resources in organizations. The role of information and communication technologies (ICT) for efficient knowledge management is important in this respect, and the purpose of this paper is to investigate how organizations focusing on EDI use ICT-based tools in their innovation work.Design/methodology/approach – In-depth interviews with employees, managers, and union representatives from 20 organizations focusing on EDI were conducted. The sample included organizations from eight different industries, representing both private and public sectors.Findings – The results show that ICT-based tools can support the processes of acquisition, dissemination, and exploitation of knowledge, which are important aspects of EDI. However, use of ICT-based tools has to be aligned with organizational structures and professional role conduct to be efficient. Practical implications – The study contributes to practice by highlighting several factors that organizations should emphasize in order to succeed with application of external and internal knowledge in their innovation work.Originality/value – The study applies a knowledge management perspective on the role of ICT-based tools to support employee-driven innovation in organizations. The findings contribute to an improved understanding of organizational conditions for succeeding with use of ICT-based tools in innovation work, and emphasize that perspectives on knowledge management, technology management, and human resource management have to be combined to understand how employee-driven innovation can be promoted by use of ICT in organizations.
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The barriers of knowledge generation, storage, distribution and application that impede learning in gas and petroleum companies

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Purpose – This paper tries to find and rank the barriers of the four knowledge management processes including generation, storage, distribution and application in gas and petroleum sector.Design/methodology/approach – Reviewing the literature of knowledge management and organizational learning, this paper extracted all of the barriers which impede KM processes. Then it designed a questionnaire for validating, ranking and categorizing barriers. Totally 190 completed questionnaires were gathered from 26 gas and petroleum companies in IRAN. Some statistical tests such as T, Friedman and Kruskal Wallis and Mann-Whitney were used for analyzing data.Findings – Findings reviewed the current literature of KM barriers either validated and ranked the barriers of knowledge generation, storage, distribution and application separately. The importance of knowledge generation and knowledge application barriers were significantly different between gas and petroleum companies. Hence they were disjointedly ranked for gas and petroleum. Finally, KM barriers were ranked according to their contribution to KM processes and the average mean of their importance in KM processes. Practical implications – From the practical point of view, this paper suggests managers of gas and petroleum companies to emphasize solving high priority barriers according to the knowledge management process which they are focused on. Furthermore, the study provides a check list that can be used as an assessment tool for evaluating knowledge management processes considering barriers. Originality/value – This paper finds the importance of each barrier for each of the four KM processes and ranks the “critical barriers” according to their contribution to four KM processes in gas and petroleum sector.
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