Knowledge Sharing in the Public Sector: An Affordance Approach of ICT

University essay from Lunds universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: Research question: How do the affordances of information and communications technology support knowledge sharing in the public sector? Contribution: With this study, we aim to contribute to the literature of qualitative research on knowledge sharing within the context of the public sector. Adapting an affordance perspective we focus on the employees’ use of information and communications technology (ICT). We explain the user-technology relationship and its mutually constitutive nature in its meaning for knowledge sharing. Methodology: To answer the research question, we use an explorative approach of the interpretive research tradition under qualitative research. In total, 11 in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted. Main findings: Findings from our empirical analysis revealed that the interviewed employees described differing individual affordances of each tool. From those, we established four categories of affordances that address knowledge sharing - Learning, Helping, Networking and Accessing. To answer our research question, we discuss these findings in light of the presented literature and draw implications on how explicit and tacit knowledge transfer in a public sector organization can be supported by information and communications technology.

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