Centre for Information Management

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8 November 2017

Knowledge Management Research Interest Group Seminar

Presented By Dr Clive Trusson, Centre for Professional Work and Society

About this event

Dr Clive Trusson Dr Clive Trusson

The rhetoric of ‘knowledge hoarding’: a research-based critique – Clive Trusson, Donald Hislop and Neil F. Doherty.

Via a study of IT service professionals, this article responds to a recent trend towards reifying ‘knowledge hoarding’ for purposes of quantitative/deductive research. A ‘rhetorical theory’ lens is applied to reconsider ‘knowledge hoarding’ as a value-laden rhetoric that directs managers towards addressing assumed worker dysfunctionality. A qualitative study of practicing IT service professionals (assumed within IT service management ‘best practice’ to be inclined to hoard knowledge) was conducted over a 34 day period.

The study found that the character of IT service practice is more one of pro-social collegiality in sharing knowledge/know-how than one of self-interested strategic knowledge concealment. The study indicates that deductive research that reifies ‘knowledge hoarding’ as a naturally-occurring phenomenon is flawed, with clear implications for future research. It also suggests that management concern for productivity might be redirected away from addressing assumed knowledge hoarding behaviour and towards encouraging knowledge sharing via social interaction in the workplace.

The paper is going to be in JKM Vol 21(6).   The pre-final edit version of it is available via http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/JKM-04-2017-0146