Knowledge sharing, in todays modern world is an ultimate necessity and also can be expressed in many shapes and forms in widely networked world. The advancement of technology has greatly changed the way the world operates altogether. Technology allows people the opportunity to communicate from opposite ends of the globe.
Moreover, the advances in ICT have heralded a major transformation in human communication, giving rise to new trends of media for social communication. Situated as one of the latest waves of digital media, social media have introduced new communication patterns, diversified communication content and format, created new forms of expression, fostered freedom, and stimulated a wide participation which has widened the scope of knowledge sharing and collaboration and allowed citizens from diverse walks of life to have an opportunity to affect changes, convey their views and challenge social norms..
Moreover, social media are increasingly employed in processes of social changes and development works. Rather, the mobilization of ICT and social media has become an instrumental approach for and power to social change. Using social media is about leaderless social movements leading social change - it is the public will mobilization and spheres, as spread through new media outlets and platforms.
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Knowledge is recognized as a critical strategic resource for the organizations. Following the resource based view (Barney, 1991), the knowledge-based perspective of the firm regards knowledge to be the source of firm's competitive advantage (Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995; Conner and Prahalad, 1996; Grant, 1996; Nahapiet and Ghoshal, 1998; Pettigrew and Whip, 1993). Knowledge, the researchers contend, is the source of competitive advantage because it signifies intangible assets that are unique, inimitable and non-substitutable (Grant, 1996; Spender, 1996; Liebeskind, 1996). However, Alavi and Leidner (2001) observe that the source for competitive advantage resides not in the mere existence of knowledge at any given point of time, but rather in the organization's capability to effectively use the existing knowledge to generate new knowledge assets and to act upon them.
Looking back, 10 years ago the way we shared information was tremendously different when people read the newspaper and watched the evening news to find out up to date information on what was happening with the world. So, when they wanted to talk to their peers from high school to share news, they quickly picked up the phone and called them. However, now all of that has changed altogether. Currently, with all the revolution of social media, the way we get our information is different. Nowadays, you wake up and check your Twitter and Facebook updates before even reading the newspaper, you can also find out the news up to the second, even faster than checking their whole website. Even, some people hardly even watch the evening news on the television because you already know most of the segments. If you want to find out information about people you know, you just check Facebook and check their profiles, this on the social side. Or you can also see what types of events are happening that you are interested in.
In modernized world the way we share knowledge is completely different these days. Social media is even making the news about being so revolutionary.
Way back in the old world order, knowledge was usually created and stored as a point in time. Now, in the future, organizational insight may not be formed by an individual creating a document that goes through an approval process and is ultimately published. It will likely begin with an online conversation and it will be forever evolving as more people contribute and circumstances change. So, the knowledge passed on and continuously change and added as it travels from one individual to another. It brings about a very greatly added advantage as every individual contributes to the betterment value to the knowledge.
Now, technology and the people driving it are changing the way we see and experience just about everything, especially the dissemination of knowledge in meetings, events, seminars and classrooms. Over the years we've come to expect the dissemination of information and knowledge to be continually enabled and enhanced by the latest and greatest technology.
Moreover, technology driven change presents opportunity and challenge. The opportunity to engage people in communication experiences (large or small) that are interactive, iterative, participatory, shared and sustainable. The challenge is to remember that great ideas and powerful content make technology its most meaningful and valuable.
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Beyond that, social media takes knowledge and makes it highly iterative. It also creates content as a social object. Content is no longer a point in time, but something that is part of a social interaction, such as a discussion. It is easily disassembles the pillars of structure as it evolves. As examples: content in a micro-blogging service can shift meaning as a discussion unfolds; conversations in enterprise social networks that link people and customer data can defy categorization; and internal blogs and their comments don't lend themselves to obvious taxonomy.
A key enabler of knowledge management is knowledge sharing (Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995; Alavi and Leidner, 2001). Sharing knowledge, many organizations assert is crucial to exploiting core competencies and to achieve sustained competitive advantage (Argote and Ingram, 2000; Gold et al., 2001). Prahalad and Hamel (1990) observe that organization's core competencies reside in the collective learning of the organization be it production, marketing or technological capabilities, that are inimitable by the competitors. To allow collective learning and to grow knowledge assets, an organization must develop an effective knowledge sharing process and encourage its employees and partners to share knowledge about customers, competitors, markets, products and so forth (Bock & Kim, 2002; Pan & Scarbrough, 1998; O'Dell & Grayson, 1998; Osterloh et al., 2000)..
As such, organizations are investing heavily in tools and technologies in the form of electronic knowledge management systems (KMS) (Davenport and Prusak, 1998; Alavi and Leidner, 2001; Ruggles, 1998; Kankanhalli, Tan and Wei, 2005; Wasko and Faraj, 2005). Some of the tools and technologies that are commonly implemented to support knowledge sharing include are as follow:
Group Ware and Collaboration tools
Expertise "Yellow Pages" (computerized directory for locating experts having specific knowledge)
Knowledge Repository (containing existing expertise, lessons learned,
best practices etc)
Intranets (including corporate portals)
Email (listserv etc)
Discussion forum (using tools like bulletin board, chat room etc)
e-learning tools (interactive systems for learning)
Desktop computer conferencing (using networked PC simultaneously for discussion and information exchange with tools such as net meeting, instant messaging, etc)
While tools and technologies are important for supporting knowledge sharing strategies, practical implementations have found that the mere availability of technology does not guarantee that knowledge will be shared (Ruggles, 1998; McDermott 1999; Orlikowski 1996; Cross and Baird 2000). There is a lack of understanding of the factors that shape knowledge sharing behaviors in organizational context.
In present, knowledge sharing has been recognized as a positive force for the survival of an organization. Until the present time, the factors that promote or discourage knowledge sharing behaviors in the organizational context are poorly understood (Bock et al., 2005; Connelly and Kelloway, 2003; Ruggles, 1998).
The growing significance of knowledge sharing to the success of knowledge management and to organizational survival, several researchers have called for further investigation of the factors that shape knowledge sharing behaviors in the organizational context. The objective of this research is to examine the factors that influence knowledge sharing behaviors of knowledge workers. As knowledge sharing influenced by other and does not happen in vacuum. Influenced by psychological, organizational and technological factors, the study will examine the effects of the same on knowledge sharing behavior.
The research questions that this study will address include:
What are the antecedents and determinants that are predictive of knowledge sharing intention of knowledge workers in the organizational context? How do these antecedents and determinants eventually influence the actual knowledge sharing behavior?
Does attitude towards knowledge sharing influence knowledge worker's intention to share knowledge?
Does intention towards knowledge sharing influence the knowledge worker's actual knowledge sharing behavior?
Does perceived behavioral control towards knowledge sharing influence the knowledge worker's actual knowledge sharing behavior?
Does the availability and perceived ease of use of tools and technology to share knowledge influence knowledge worker's behavioral control towards knowledge sharing behavior?