Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

A Survey of Knowledge Sharing among the Faculty Members of Iranian Library and Information Science (LIS) Departments

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

A Survey of Knowledge Sharing among the Faculty Members of Iranian Library and Information Science (LIS) Departments

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

Today, knowledge is seen as a critical tool for getting competitive advantage and knowledge assets management has gained much more importance. In this respect, the issue of knowledge sharing is considered as a key element in knowledge management process.

The knowledge sharing is also considered as a key element in any efficient knowledge management programs (Asadi, 2004 (1383), quoted by Ghorbani Busari, 2011 (1391)). The goaloriented sharing of knowledge within the organizations has led to a faster individual and organizational learning process, improved creativity and, eventually, improved performance at both the individual and organizational level. Accordingly, all organizations encourage knowledge sharing among their employees, who are, most often, interested in adopting their own way of accomplishing the tasks. It is expected from the individuals to show an interest to share knowledge among themselves if when they have a positive attitude towards it.

The knowledge sharing requires a durable commitment, creativity and interpersonal learning processes (Davenport4, 1998; Huysman5, 2000; Wit6, 2000; quoted by Keshavarzi, 2007 (1386)). Given the huge volume of information and the users' need for new information there would be clearly a need for sharing knowledge among the faculty members; so that the faculty members could adapt themselves to the occurred changes in order to provide services and satisfy their needs in a more effective way. The knowledge sharing is considered to be one of the most important methods through which the faculty members, being aware of its advantages, can meet their needs at the soonest possible time by making use of others' knowledge and experience. So, it would be especially important for the organizations to identify the factors which might affect the individual's attitude towards the knowledge sharing.

2. Statement of Problem

The knowledge sharing is a participatory process by means of which all available information, ideas and skills is distributed. The sharing of knowledge results in a reciprocal and cooperative learning process which, in turn, leads to the creation of new knowledge. According to Hermans 7 and Castiaux 8 (2007) the participatory knowledge creation approach is a means for obtaining desired results in the learning process and, at the same time, is a factor facilitating the process of sharing and distributing knowledge within an organization. As the responsible body for promoting knowledge sharing, the faculty members of the Iranian Library and Information Science (LIS) groups play an important role in promulgating newly obtained knowledge. Considering the huge number of the information resources and their need for new information, the knowledge sharing can be offered to the faculty members as one of the methods for getting an access to the information needed by them. Because of their peculiar attitude towards the knowledge sharing any faculty member of the Library and Information Science departments are more likely to respond positively to the applications for knowledge which they may receive from others or show a positive reaction to the matter on the whole.

It appears that the more the faculty members have awareness about the knowledge sharing and the more they are aware of its advantages the more enthusiastically they will participate in it. But, however, this requires that they adopt an optimistic attitude and dynamic way of acting in their approach towards the knowledge sharing. On the other hand, it is unclear that what is the current standing of the participating faculty members in relation to these three elements i.e. knowledge, attitude and behavior/reaction. The present research attempts to make a probe into the current situation of the knowledge sharing among the faculty members of the Library and Information Science (LIS) departments in Iran and, then, suggest some strategies for improving its status among the researchers and scholars. …

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