The purpose of this paper is to investigate the nature of knowledge sharing and what is experienced as being shared as knowledge sharing unfolds. In particular, the paper explores affect as a key aspect of knowledge sharing in an organisational context.
A practice theoretical approach is applied to the study combined with a phenomenological research methodology that focusses on the “lived experience” of participants.
Knowledge-sharing practice was found to encompass cognitive, social, bodily and affective dimensions. Affect was found to be a significant component of the practice as revealed by participant emotion and the use of conversational humour.
In light of the findings, the researcher recommends a focus on participant sensings in practice theoretical research, in combination with sayings, doings and relatings.
The approach to the study is significant in that, in contrast to previous practice-based research in information studies, it applied a methodology adapted from phenomenology. This combination of approaches opened the investigation to the multi-dimensional experiential nature of knowledge-sharing practice highlighting the significant role of affect in knowledge sharing.
Leith, D & Yerbury, H 2019, 'Knowledge sharing and organizational change: Practice interactions in Australian local government', Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, vol. 51, no. 4, pp. 1041-1051.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Introduction Multi-disciplinary teams created to develop more sustainable ways of working are a focus for investigation into the practices of knowledge sharing. This study, taking a practice theoretical approach, explores the extent to which humour is associated with knowledge sharing and the roles it may play in the practice.
Method. Nine meetings of a multi-disciplinary project team in local government established to model new sustainable work practices were observed, audio-recorded and subsequently transcribed.
Analysis. Content analysis of the transcriptions of the meetings was carried out, using emergent coding. The frequency, types and themes of humour used by the team were identified and considered in the context of information activities.
Results. Among the fifty-two instances of humour, the three most frequent types were witticisms, put-downs and self-denigration. The themes of creativity, exercising control and superiority to others emerged. Humour was mostly used in discussions of administrative aspects of the project, including agenda setting, evaluation and reporting to other council committees.
Conclusion. The use of humour demonstrated a paradox between needing to act as a creative and innovative team to model a new way of working and continuing to work in the traditional reporting and communication structures of the traditional workplace.
Leith, D & Yerbury, H 2015, 'Organizational Knowledge Sharing, Information Literacy and Sustainability: Two Case Studies from Local Government', Information Literacy: Moving Towards Sustainability. Third European Conference, ECIL 2015, Information Literacy: Moving Towards Sustainability., Springer, Tallinn, Estonia, pp. 13-21.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Sustainability goals are at the center of a range of local government
initiatives in Australia. Such initiatives are often developed in response to community needs and to the broader needs of urban greening. This study takes a sociocultural approach to two such initiatives, one involving intra-organizational and the other inter-organizational knowledge sharing and applies a framework of information literacy activities to the analysis of participant’s knowledge sharing
experiences. This framework was supported by the findings though Influencing and Sharing were more prominent than Information work and Coupling activities. Sharing activities became the norm in the study, underpinned by the expectation that the expertise of participants would be validated and incorporated into the collaborative endeavor. Expression of emotion was minimal when the normative nature of this activity was highlighted however emotions were experienced when the norm was not being followed and when participants believed that their contribution was not being validated.