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Knowledge Sharing and Social Interaction: An Exploration of Individual Action through the Integral Role of the Habitus.

By Ademola Oluwaseun Obembe


With the rise in importance of technology to organizational life, a lot of attention has been given to the management of knowledge through technological applications (Chou and Lin, 2002). At the same time, a wide spectrum of social interactionist literature has argued for the importance of human agency in the creation, conversion and sharing of knowledge (cf Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995; Brown and Duguid, 2001; Dixon, 2002 and Chiva and Alegre, 2005). Given the amount of research on the importance of social interaction to the management of individual and organizational knowledge, it becomes imperative to develop a clear understanding of the role of the individual in these social interaction processes. This research begins with first principles by exploring the dynamics of knowledge sharing in organizations from the perspective of individual agents, in order to gain insight into the reasoning behind the action of individuals in sharing their knowledge and expertise. In so doing, the research assumes that the knowledge transfer process is essentially a social process and entails an active involvement of individual actors in making decisions about the sharing process. The empirical setting for this research is a single case study of Construct Co., an organization in the construction industry. Primary data was collected by in-depth interviews of a sample population of 27 respondents with additional secondary data drawn from company annual reports and in-house survey. By taking a qualitative interpretive approach (Morgan, 1979; Morgan & Smircich, 1980) and drawing on a theoretical framework that centres on Bourdieu's concepts of capital and habitus (Bourdieu, 1977,1985,1986), and the concept of communities of practice (Lave and Wenger, 1991; Brown and Duguid, 1991,2001), this thesis not only provides an exploratory insight into the determinants which govern individual knowledge sharing decision processes but also contributes to research on the practical utility of the habitus as both a conceptual and analytical tool in understanding the dynamics governing individual knowledge sharing decisions

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2007
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/4386

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  1. (Academics plus experience as optimal resource)
  2. (Acquaintanceship opening channel for KS)
  3. (Benevolence as motive for sharing? )
  4. (Cognitive awareness of future benefit derivable from sharing knowledge)
  5. (Commonalities as basis for SI) (Benefits of sustained interaction)
  6. (Community atmosphere creates a sense of belonging and personal drive to see project succeed)
  7. (Community atmosphere facilitating good work relationship)
  8. (Competitiveness as basis for not sharing) (Example of competitiveness as hindrance)
  9. (Coopetition through sharing to raise organization standard) (Sharing to reinforce position of importance in client's value chain)
  10. (Correlation between respect and depth of interaction)
  11. (Could impact of past relationships be tied to years of experience? )
  12. (Decreasing importance of qualification with career progression)
  13. (Desire to receive knowledge encouraged by the existence of a need)
  14. (Despite common trainings individuals are still selective on team members)
  15. (Example of `who you know' enabling career progression)
  16. (Example of reciprocity - borne out of obligation? )
  17. (Example of sharing with industry competitors)
  18. (Example of social interaction resulting in individual's resource development)
  19. (Experiential knowledge of prime importance in organization context)
  20. (Experiential knowledge of prime importance)
  21. (Extent of know-how as basis for respect)
  22. (Friendship factor as enabling KS)
  23. (Geographic dispersion as hindrance to networking)
  24. (Geographic distance as hindrance to socialising) ... and having possible consequence on working relation
  25. (Geographic spread encourages virtual communication)
  26. (Good social rapport to enable KS and prioritisation of work)
  27. (good social relationship enabling effective teamwork)
  28. (Having the right network to enhance mobility within the organization)
  29. (Increased focus on virtual communication) -(Network for enhancement of personal knowledge)
  30. (Increasingly obvious value of network as career progresses)
  31. (Indigenous cultural differences as opposed to national cultures as source of conflict)
  32. (Individual capital: a joint property) doi
  33. (Individual capital: an exclusive preserve to which organization has limited rights)
  34. (Individual differences as factor hindering KS) (Personal gratification as reason for sharing)
  35. (Individual's cultural background as a facilitator for KS) - 14097j (Perceptions influenced through hearsay? )
  36. (Influence borne out of official administrative role) (Respect due to sustained relationship) ... and similarity in style) 18124 (Influence due to positioning in organization) (depth of acquaintanceship as determinant for respect)
  37. (Influence by virtue of position within organization)
  38. (Influence/clout acquired through central role in knowledge network)
  39. (Knowled e as a positioning tool)
  40. (Knowledge combined with personality as fostering 'ob progression)
  41. (2003). (Knowledge is power to the extent that it is shared and it is productive) 22149 (External recognition of individual's knowledge may give status
  42. (Knowledge is powerful to the extent that one is able to draw out the resources of others to achieve both individual and common goals. The classic master-servant relationship)
  43. (knowledge of individual's ability fosters recruitment for upcoming jobs)
  44. (knowledge of individual's ability fosters recruitment for upcoming jobs) (Recruitment based on past working relationship)
  45. (KS as a positioning tool)
  46. (National cultures bring different competences to organizations)
  47. (Need for facilities as indicators of availability of specific knowledge and to direct individuals to the source for further insight)
  48. (Networking to attain synergy and increase productivity)
  49. (Non-flexibility of personal opinion as hindrance to sharing/ knowledge reception)
  50. (On-the-job learning ensures context-specific knowledge is shared)
  51. (Organization culture may tend to prevail on individual culture)
  52. (Organization factor - restrictions applied to sharing commercially sensitive knowledge)
  53. (Organization momentum for networking may not catch on with individuals) (Organization might consider championing individual-led initiatives/ communities)
  54. (Organization networking through a point man)
  55. (Organization no longer closely knit? )
  56. (Past relationship as a form of knowledge reservoir)
  57. (Past relationship as avenue for knowledge acquisition)
  58. (Perception of knowledge as a positioning tool)
  59. (Personal dislike as basis for not sharing)
  60. (Personal experience as encouraging KS)
  61. (Personal rift as hindering KS)
  62. (Personality as impacting KS)
  63. (Personality/ demographics as determinant for level of SI)
  64. (Prevalence of organization culture over individual culture. What then does individual culture bring to the organization? )
  65. (Previous contact motivates knowledge seekers)
  66. (Previous working relationship enabling career development)
  67. (Prior knowledge of individual increasing likelihood for job selection)
  68. (Prioritisation of factors affecting the organization) doi
  69. (Prioritisation of the organization) (Improved work culture?
  70. (Qualification as access key but also conferring authority)
  71. (Qualification as an access key) doi
  72. (Qualification as an indicator of capability) (Qualification with experience yields optimal benefit)
  73. (Qualification as status symbol)
  74. (Qualification important to the extent of serving as a `door opener') 11080 (Experience as superseding ualification
  75. (Qualification relevant in early career) ualification as an access key
  76. (Qualification valid as indicator of competence only)
  77. (Reason for not sharing) (Sharing creates a sense of achievement and obligation on
  78. (reciprocity not a basis for sharing)
  79. (Recognition as a result of sharing know-how)
  80. (Respect due to mutual understanding, com lementarit and reciprocation)
  81. (SC as a resource for advancement)
  82. (Selective display of knowledge to those that matter)
  83. (Sharing as a form of experiential learning to prevent recurrence of mistakes)
  84. (Sharing for delegation met with resistance)
  85. (Sharing may limit innovation where ideas are not challenged)
  86. (Sharing to create good rep and for positioning within the organization)
  87. (Sharing to increase wealth of organization knowledge)
  88. (SI as a factor in fostering working relationship)
  89. (Social bonding as possible factor in enhancing productivity)
  90. (Social bonding to improve working relationship)
  91. (social networking as a channel for sharing) doi
  92. (Socialising as enhancing job performance) (Exclusion from social gatherings may prove to be counter-productive)
  93. (Stereotyping: how does this impact work place interaction? )
  94. (Sustained relationship as encouraging KS)
  95. (Sustained relationship fostering work progression)
  96. (The friendship factor increases expectation or reciprocation)
  97. (The personality factor in enabling better working relationship)
  98. (There is a perceived period by which individuals are expected to have gathered experience beyond qualification and at which qualification seizes to be of prime importance)
  99. (Time as a critical factor in the propensity to share)
  100. (Time constraint due to busy schedule hinders networking)
  101. (Trust and perception of competence as basis for aroachin individuals)
  102. (Use of knowledge as determinant of extent of power)
  103. (Value of shared knowledge is most evident at the time of requirement)
  104. (Value of sustained relationship at the organization level)
  105. (Working on project basis and ongoing trainings allow for renewal of old ac uaintanceshi s)
  106. Academics as a Resource doi
  107. Academics plus experience as optimal resource
  108. Any correlation between individuals' background and inclination?
  109. Basis for sharin : to enable delegation
  110. Combination of theory and practice as optimal resource
  111. (2000). Communities of Practice: The Organizational Frontier' Harvard Business Review
  112. Correlation between duration of career and ownership of individual capital
  113. Desire for success) (Sharing to enable delegation)
  114. dyadic relationship and the effect on T "-party
  115. Exam le of use of past relationships
  116. (1999). Experience and Knowledge', doi
  117. Friendship/ acquaintanceship network providing a channel to facilitate KS
  118. (1992). In-Depth Interviewing',
  119. Individual cultural background reflective in the way one works [personality?
  120. Individual Know-how to determine who one approaches for help
  121. Influence/clout acquired through central role in knowledge network
  122. Knowledge as a political tool/ resource
  123. (2001). Management (7"' Edition)
  124. (1990). Market Networks and corporate Behavior' doi
  125. omplementarity t as basis for SI
  126. On initial perception, more significance attached to title than actual knowhow
  127. Organization culture actively communicated to employees. This may lead to organization culture influencing individuals'
  128. (2005). Organizational Learning and Organizational Knowledge: Towards the Integration of Two Approaches' doi
  129. Personality impacts the way we socialise but individual job roles may influence exhibition of personal traits
  130. Priontising sharing due to obligation
  131. Prioritisation of factors affecting the organizati
  132. (2004). Re-embedding Situatedness: The Importance of Power Relations in Learning Theory', doi
  133. Recipients' ability to handle supplied information
  134. SI as enabling work relationship
  135. Source/ origin of knowledge as hindrance - NIH syndrome) 09065 (Need to make knowledge context specific for value adding)
  136. (1997). The Case for Qualitative Research', doi
  137. (1984). The Constitution of Society: Outline of the Theory of Structuration. doi
  138. (2000). The Dynamics of Organizational Change', Unpublished PhD Thesis submitted to Aston University.
  139. (1990). The Multinational Corporation as an Interorganizational Network' doi
  140. the organization level is only productive when the right culture is in place. This is supportive of Von Krogh's organizational care theory
  141. (1962). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. doi
  142. Time as a critical factor in the propensity to share
  143. Time as limiting factor for KS
  144. Unres onsiveness as limiting factor to future interaction

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