posted 1 Apr 1998 in Volume 1 Issue 5
Supporting Knowledge Sharing
The sharing of knowledge is counter to the culture of many organisations and can be a major obstacle to the implementation of effective knowledge management. William Ives and Ben Torrey , Andersen Consulting present a multi-dimensional framework developed to support change in human performance and applies it to supporting knowledge sharing behaviour.
While knowledge is one of the few resources that can increase in value as it is shared, the inter-competitive environment in many organizations fosters knowledge hoarding; in these firms unique possession of knowledge is seen as power and job security. As with any major transition in employee behaviour, this change from a knowledge protective to a knowledge sharing environment needs to be consistently supported in multiple and interrelated ways.
Sharing insights and best practices is a behaviour that is critical to the success of any knowledge management system, yet it is counter to the culture found in most organizations. This cultural issue is seen by many experts (e.g., Bair, Fenn, Hunter & Bosik, 1997; Davenport, 1997) as the main obstacle to implementing knowledge management since, for most firms, facilitating the capture of useful business knowledge represents a major change in employee behaviour. In the recent survey of Fortune 1000 executives, 97 percent of respondents said there were critical business processes that would benefit from more employees having the knowledge that was currently within one or two people, and 87 percent said costly mistakes are occurring because employees lack the right knowledge when it is needed (Chase, 1997).
The Framework: a Human Performance Model
Human performance is complex activity influenced by many factors. The model below was developed by Steve Lindauer, Craig Mindrum, and other members of our Performance Design & Development Competency Leadership team, based on the work of several human performance experts (e.g., Rummler & Brache, 1996). This model looks at both Organizational and individual factors that affect performance, and focuses on obtaining measurable outcomes that benefit the individual and the organisation. It specifies what a person needs to optimally perform any business task, as well as what management must provide in order to align performance with business strategies.
The principal factors are as follows:
|Business Context: What is the business mission and strategy? Is it understood? Are tasks aligned with it?|
|Organizational Performance factors|
|Structure and Roles: How are people organised to support performance?|
|Processes: What are they supposed to do?|
|Culture: What social and political factors affect performance?|
|Physical Environment: Where do people perform?|
|Individual Performance Factors|
|Direction: What guidance do people receive?|
|Measurement: How are they measured?|
|Means: Do they have the tools to enable performance?|
|Ability: Do they have the skills and knowledge to perform?|
|Motivation: Will they perform?|
These ten factors must be working in concert for human performance to be optimised. None of these factors, taken individually, can ensure success, as they achieve minimal effectiveness when operating in isolation. Each is necessary but, by itself, not sufficient. Each will now be addressed in terms of its contribution to knowledge sharing. Because of their interrelated nature, there is natural overlap among factors, and a number of the points could be made under several factors. Some will receive more attention than others, but all are important.
Svelby (1997) defines knowledge as “the capacity to act,” and Davenport, De Long, and Beer (1998) add that knowledge “is a high value form of information that is ready to apply to decisions and actions.” This capacity or readiness to act only achieves value if it is aligned with the strategic direction of the organisation to increase the desired business performance. It cannot be implemented simply as “a good idea” if one hopes for it to succeed. In a recent study of knowledge management projects, the successful ones were linked to the organisation’s economic performance (Davenport et al, 1998). Employees are more likely to share knowledge if it is linked with the common goals of the organisation and achieves clear economic value. To do this, they need to understand and share these goals. Finerty (1997) argues that knowledge sharing cannot be promoted by rewards; the only way to generate real knowledge sharing is to “build meaning into the workplace.” If people really care about what they do, then they will want to share the knowledge they create. It is not enough to make sure the knowledge management system is simply aligned with the business strategy for knowledge sharing to occur. It is essential that the business strategy is communicated to employees, and that a consensus of support is created so they both understand and concur with the business context in which they operate.
The knowledge management system itself can be one way to communicate this strategy, and the act of knowledge sharing - if successful - can actually make employees feel a greater connection to the organisation, which will increase their likelihood to contribute knowledge in the future. If the knowledge management system is relied on as the only means for sharing the business context, however, it will not be sufficient. Employees need more personal connections with management if they are to become aligned with the business strategy.
Organizational Structure and Roles
Knowledge sharing is best supported by a two-part Organizational structure with professional dedicated knowledge management staff who own the knowledge processes, templates and technologies, and knowledge sponsors, integrators, and developers from the business units who own the knowledge content. This two-part structure and roles can help knowledge sharing in several ways. The professional knowledge management staff can guide and support employees through the act of knowledge sharing. This could include “help desk” support, structured debriefings, newsletters, recognition programs, and other means. Specific techniques for guidance will be covered later in the ‘Direction’ section.
Within our firm there are designated knowledge champions who are part of the professional knowledge management staff, and whose major responsibility is to encourage and enable knowledge sharing and knowledge use. These individuals serve an important function as change agents, especially during the early phases of knowledge management system implementation. They set and maintain a standard for personal knowledge sharing while encouraging, exhorting, and even cajoling members of the user community to engage in knowledge sharing. They also serve as the “human interface” to the knowledge management system by taking issues from the field and passing them along to the appropriate people, assuring users that they have been heard. As part of this role, they also train and support those responsible for supporting knowledge management in the business units. Since the professional knowledge management staff combines both human resource and training skills with information technology skills, it could initially be either part of HR or IT. It should be integrated, however, not split between the organizations, and both sets of skills need to be present. Wherever it is in the organisation, it should have direct access and visibility to the highest levels of the organisation.
Within the business units, there are several levels of roles that can both encourage and enable knowledge sharing. Knowledge sponsors are senior executives who are responsible for encouraging and recognising the knowledge sharing behaviour of their business unit. They are held accountable and rewarded for the knowledge sharing activities of the employees in their business unit. Knowledge developers are designated content experts who create new content for the system as a dedicated, short-term assignment. Knowledge integrators operate at the functional unit or project level, and serve as the central focal point for knowledge use and knowledge sharing. This may be a part-time or dedicated rotational role, depending on the work load. To be effective, this role needs to be seen as a “career enhancing” one for the most capable. Knowledge integrators play a critical role in encouraging knowledge sharing, since they understand the issues within the business unit as well as the needs of the knowledge system. After receiving training from the knowledge management staff, they in turn train employees on knowledge sharing, help determine what knowledge is appropriate to share, ensure that all key knowledge is placed within the knowledge management system, ensure the quality of knowledge by dealing with such factors as accuracy, timeliness, redundancy, clarity, and other issues, and address issues of confidentiality. Similar to knowledge champions, they act as liaisons between the employees and the knowledge management staff. Knowledge sponsors have overall accountability for knowledge sharing; knowledge integrators have day-to-day responsibility to ensure it occurs. We have recently implemented a similar knowledge integration function in our European practice, with great success. One interesting observation is that a high percentage of these knowledge integrators, referred to as engagement knowledge champions, are subsequently promoted. This suggests that high performers are chosen for this role, that it is one that provides visibility, and that its tasks are valued by the firm-all of which are conditions that support increased knowledge sharing and legitimise it as a cultural value.
To foster an atmosphere in which knowledge sharing is likely to occur, it needs to be built into the daily work process. If it is a normal and expected part of the job, then it is likely to be done. If it is something done after hours on an employee’s own time, it will be an uphill battle to collect knowledge contributions, regardless of how many extra incentives are offered. The U.S. Army has installed knowledge sharing as a standard part of its work in both training and real duty in the form of “after-action reviews” (Ricks, 1997). In this approach, no effort is considered complete until it has been reviewed and its lessons obtained. As knowledge is useful only insofar as it guides action, a key success factor has been a rigorous program of applying the new insights gained through the reviews. This application demonstrates the value and encourages further contributions. During the U.S. military efforts in Bosnia, the lessons learned were distributed on a frequent basis. Because such observations as “avoid snow-covered roads with no vehicle tracks, as they are probably mined” were credited with saving lives, members of other co-operating armies frequently requested a copy of the latest “lessons learned.”
The second important process issue is the need for well-defined knowledge capture processes. Everyone should know where and how to contribute new knowledge and what happens to it after their contribution is made. There should be different processes and channels, depending on the level or type of knowledge that is shared. Expanding on the tacit-explicit distinction of Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995), Hidding and Catterall (1998) recognise three levels of knowledge that range from experiential to emerging to formal. Experiential knowledge is often tacit; it relates to specific events, and has not been generalised. It has high momentary value, often enabling a worker to solve a critical problem. This may occur through material already on the system or in consultation with a knowledge expert (often asynchronously, using a discussion database or electronic bulletin board). Formal knowledge is refined and generalised across many situations and is explicit. Emerging knowledge is both tacit and explicit; it is formal but not generalised. Examples include high-value deliverables from specific projects or successful sales proposals. While they are examples of explicit knowledge, they are designed to meet the needs of a specific situation. They can be frequently reused after varying degrees of modification, but they are not generalised knowledge. Formal knowledge is generalised and structured to educate; it reflects the synthesised and refined intelligence of the organisation.
These three types of knowledge have been likened to “raw data” (bits of momentarily critical information in discussions), “refined information” (highly specific formalised knowledge-deliverables, etc.), and “synthesised knowledge.” This breakdown illustrates the transformation that occurs as tacit knowledge becomes explicit, then fully socialised within an organisation.
All three levels of knowledge provide value and need to be captured and managed within an organisation, but different processes should be adopted for each. For experiential knowledge, open forums with “threaded discussions” are useful for individuals who wish to share informal insights based on specific events. After filling in an automated response form, individuals can see their item posted, follow responses to it, react to these responses, and continue the dialogue in an open manner that is accessible to all levels of the organisation. Experiential knowledge can also be collected in more formal means through team debriefings (as discussed in the ‘Direction’ section). For emerging knowledge in project deliverables, sales proposals, or department reports, one team member (such as the engagement knowledge champion described in the previous section), should integrate the collective knowledge contributions from the group and serve as the single contact with the knowledge management system. Formal knowledge (such as integrated collections of best practices or official methods) should be made by dedicated resources from the business units who are given time away from their normal tasks to focus on quality deliverables. Everyone contributes to experiential knowledge, and dedicated team members are tasked with collecting and integrating emerging knowledge, drawing upon the group’s collective efforts and insights. Specialists and subject matter experts should create formal knowledge, which is then used and refined by everyone.
The importance of Organizational culture is one area of knowledge management with which most industry analysts seem to agree. In a recent survey of 650 information technology professionals by Delphi Consulting Group, 58 percent said corporate culture is the largest impediment to knowledge management (Cole, 1997). Immaturity of technology was cited by 20 percent, immaturity of the knowledge management industry by 15 percent, cost by nine percent, and lack of need by three percent. Another recent study of knowledge management projects found that a culture that supported knowledge sharing was highly correlated with project success (Davenport et al, 1998). The Gartner Group (Bair et al, 1997) suggests that lack of attention to cultural issues, rather than technical obstacles, will be the principal reason that knowledge management efforts fail.
“Enterprises with cultures that systematically limit or inhibit capability, autonomy, and responsibility, as well as those in which sharing of knowledge is actively discouraged either by official or unofficial policy, will find that investment in KM technology provides (relatively) minor operational efficiencies at best.” (Gartner Group).
In hierarchical organizations, where employees are competing for a decreasing number of positions, knowledge sharing is less likely to occur. In relatively flat organizations that centre around functional or project teams, sharing is more likely to occur because personal knowledge advantage may be seen as critical to promotion. In our own firm-as with most of the major consulting firms-a culture of sharing knowledge was in place prior to the implementation of our knowledge management system. The technology provided a better means to facilitate one of the existing core cultural values.
The Gartner Group (Bair et al, 1997) describes three types of cultures and their relative support for knowledge sharing. There are “Balkanized” organizations with multiple “warlords” competing against each other in an atmosphere of mutual suspicion and information hoarding. The potential for knowledge sharing is naturally low here. There are “monarchies” with top-down authoritarian rule, and officially approved and disapproved subjects whose approval status may quickly change. The potential for knowledge sharing here is better than in the “Balkans,” but is still limited. Then there are “federations” with local autonomy, a global framework, and civilised dispute resolution. Co-operation is based on enlightened self-interest, and the potential for knowledge sharing is high.
Because knowledge sharing carries with it strong implications related to personal status and relations with others, openness to sharing will also be affected by the social or national culture within which the individual grew up, lives, and works. Certain cultures are quite reticent about sharing private thoughts or appearing to promote oneself through claiming expertise, while other cultures place a high value on demonstrating such expertise; in some cultures, asking for help from someone else is seen as a weakness.
How do you develop the right culture for knowledge sharing? The solution is not one-dimensional and needs to consider the current Organizational environment, the general business climate of the geographic location, and the indigenous culture. The first step is to identify it as a priority and then provide strong leadership, investment support, and modelling by senior executives. Trust and integrity on the part of leaders will help to unlock employee resistance to share; these traits have been rated as key success factors for business success in a knowledge-based economy (Gordon, 1997). Once trust is established, knowledge sharing needs to be part of everything in the organisation’s culture. All project reviews should include questions on knowledge sharing and reuse of knowledge. All individual performance reviews should consider knowledge sharing performance. All newsletters and communications should provide links, where appropriate, to the knowledge management system for more details. All IT applications should have knowledge bases to share and collect appropriate best practices around their use. All training courses should require use of the knowledge management system to model and encourage its use. In response to an inquiry as to how a culture of safety had been so successfully adopted at one of our chemical industry clients, the answer was that it is part of everything we do. The same applies to knowledge management. When dealing with a social culture that is resistant to knowledge sharing, it may be necessary to incorporate special activities designed to bring the group to a level of greater openness. Again, all of the human performance factors described in this paper need to be operating in concert.
The physical requirements may be taken for granted, but individuals need a quiet space where they may reflect and input contributions. This can be difficult in the middle of a busy call centre or warehouse floor. One organisation provided a quiet phone area and a toll-free number for its mechanics to use to provide their insights to trained “debriefers” who knew what to look for and how to obtain useful information. Much knowledge sharing occurs outside of technology. Some of it is not by design - the sharing of best practices can occur in the coffee room or by the copy machine; however, many firms are employing team workspaces and scheduled team knowledge sharing meetings to allow for these exchanges. Many of the communities of practice within our firm hold regularly scheduled meetings-either in person or by phone-devoted to sharing insights and experience.
Recently, the London Business School created a space between two major departments to increase sharing, and Reuters News Service has installed kitchens on each floor to encourage interactions and knowledge sharing (Earl, 1998). Our firm has created several sites-such as the Financial Ideas Exchange in New York-designed to promote innovation and knowledge sharing. Skandia has set up a “futurizing house” that provides an environment for knowledge sharing that is enhanced by sights and even smells like fresh baked bread in order to encourage openness and innovation (Edvinsson, 1998). Network connections in these rooms could facilitate access to the knowledge management system and the increased ability to immediately input insights gained from these discussions so others can have access to them. Efforts to technologically embellish such spaces have led to the development of “meetingware” such as Ventana Group Systems http://www.ventana.com, Meeting Works http://www.entsol.com, and others. In addition, a new group of interior design firms are specialising in optimising workspaces to increase performance; opportunities and developments in this area cannot be overlooked.
Providing proper guidance for knowledge sharing is particularly important since it is a new behaviour for many. The culture may transform itself to promote knowledge sharing, but individuals must also learn how to share in useful ways. Clear purpose and clear terminology are key predictors of knowledge management success (Davenport et al, 1998). The U.S. Army has learned that the more hectic the operation, the greater the imperative for an organised system for collecting lessons learned (Ricks, 1997). Otherwise, the debriefing is unfocused and provides limited value. This need for guidance also applies to individuals. Our firm has developed a series of guidelines for knowledge sharing for all levels of the organisation. In order to achieve real value, guidance needs to be focused on achieving improvement and innovation. When conducting event debriefings, it is important to take the experiential and emerging knowledge, as described by Hidding and Catterall (1998), and attempt to translate it into formal knowledge that can be generalised to other events; do not simply recall events, but move toward conclusions. Clear direction and guidance toward this goal can help unlock our tacit understandings and produce explicit learning. It is often said that to truly understand something, one should teach it. This is because we take our experiential knowledge and translate it into formal learning to impart to others. This process also helps to clarify one’s own thinking, which often leads to new syntheses.
Argyris (1994) argues that case studies and other forms of debriefings do not lead to real innovation because of our individual and Organizational defensiveness. We tend to look at others’ behaviour, rather than focus upon inconsistencies and root causes of actions. We tend to answer the questions of our supervisors in ways that make us look good, but never question whether these are even the right questions. This is particularly true for balkanised or monarchical organizations (to use The Gartner Group’s (1997) terms), and partially explains why they will have more difficulties with knowledge sharing. If we focus on the recommendations for actions, it helps us to probe for root causes and positive corrective steps, rather than dwell on the experience itself and what went wrong or right. It allows us to make a positive contribution-the recommended action-that we can feel good about, rather than simply being left with past inadequacies. This guidance can occur in structured group sessions that should be held throughout the project and refined as the work progresses. If the debrief is left to the end, much will be forgotten, and the events are more likely to suffer from the defensive reinterpretation to which Argyris refers.
MIT’s Centre for Organizational Learning has developed a comprehensive approach to what they call “learning histories” that involves the collaboration of trained learning historians and those involved in the event (Kliener and Roth, 1997). The employees supply the events and the historians help interpret these events. This approach has provided very useful results for large companies trying to make sense of major events; however, this type of intervention cannot be applied in all cases. Useful guidance can also be as simple as a series of structured questions on a contribution form: what occurred? Why did it occur? What are the implications? How can it be improved? A tool for providing direction is the use of forced choices for categorising information that provides a contributor with a framework that is aligned with the organisation’s desired categories. While category lists are extremely important for efficient information retrieval, it is possible that they become too constricting, even to the point of inhibiting knowledge sharing. Again, as with all the other factors, this approach, by itself, will not work without the proper Organizational culture and all the other factors working in concert. Leaders need to model this behaviour; a recent Andersen Consulting study of the qualities for the CEO of the future rates self-awareness and reflection as key attributes. This reflection and self-awareness that are necessary for knowledge generation best occurs in a culture of trust and integrity (Gordon, 1997). Without trust and the other human performance factors in place, employees may learn, but they will not share their learning.
In a manufacturing economy, performance is relatively easy to measure, as production output can be counted and assessed against benchmarks and past performance; in a knowledge-based economy, however, output is harder to measure. This human performance measurement is even more important, as an organisation’s greatest assets are within its people. These metrics for knowledge workers need to fit the job and the corporate culture, start to put a value on ideas, look at knowledge distribution as well as creation, and require input from a variety of sources (von Hoffman, 1998). To recognise that knowledge reuse and distribution is also important, Texas Instruments recently created an annual “not invented here, but I did it anyway” award (Davenport et al, 1998).
In our firm, knowledge sharing is evaluated at the individual and engagement, or client team, level. Like all other core skills, there is a developmental model of knowledge sharing proficiencies, and each career level in the organisation is assigned an expected proficiency level. These range from knowledge use and participation in discussion databases at the initial levels, through contribution of formal knowledge capital as you gain more experience, to sponsoring knowledge creation and developing new approaches as you reach the higher levels. It is important that these are expectations - not role definitions that might limit behaviour. No one is prohibited from exceeding expectations; on the contrary, they are rewarded for it. Each of these expectations can be translated into actions that can be documented in a review. They are readily available so that expectations are known in advance. There are also other means to assess contributions. For example, all knowledge databases can be sorted by author, which addresses volume. These contributions are also easily accessible by anyone in the firm, so quality can be readily determined. In addition to individual measures, there are certain expectations on engagement teams to contribute knowledge capital from their efforts, and these contributions are monitored. Congratulatory messages are sent from executive leaders when expectations are met. These individual and team measurements provide definition to knowledge sharing behaviour and communicate that the organisation places a value on it. When our European practice initiated congratulatory messages from senior executives to the team, the number of engagement contributions increased.
One of the reasons for the current rise of knowledge management is the increased use of network computing, groupware, intranets, and other technologies that make large-scale knowledge management possible. These technologies are a driving force toward the ubiquitous availability of information, and, therefore, a key driver of knowledge management. Many organizations are upgrading their e-mail to either IBM’s Lotus Notes, Microsoft Exchange, or web technology. Where this technical infrastructure is in place, building an elementary but efficient means to support knowledge sharing becomes less of an obstacle. In an increasing number of these instances, knowledge management can be positioned as a way to better leverage existing technical investments. These existing tools can then be extended to automate and simplify the knowledge sharing process. Contribution buttons that launch preformatted e-mail messages destined for knowledge integrators or other editors can provide one means of making the knowledge capture process more accessible. Push technologies can provide user-defined structure to both knowledge access and sharing. Users can rate and categorise the knowledge they are sharing to ensure that it targets the right audience. They can also define and prioritise the type of knowledge they want to receive.
New technologies are also making knowledge capture less dependent on direct contribution by employees as the only means to acquire new knowledge. Data mining allows for knowledge identification by analysing past performance. Content extraction may further automate the collection of experiential and emerging knowledge by selecting the meaningful aspects of documents. In addition, as previously discussed, video-conferencing, application sharing, and electronic meeting support-or “meetingware”-are useful knowledge sharing enablers. Regardless of the technologies employed, a key investment to support knowledge sharing is the creation of a taxonomy or semantic model that provides a map of the organisation’s understanding of knowledge and helps to structure category lists for contribution classification. This provides a framework for knowledge contribution by individuals and automated knowledge capture and retrieval by the newer technologies.
When designing knowledge sharing technologies, users should be consulted in the functional and interface design. Knowledge sharing technologies also should be selected to meet the specific needs of particular user groups. For example, the replication capabilities in Notes currently make it very useful for those who work remotely with laptops.
Despite the fact that individuals are taught to share at an early age, sharing in a corporate environment is a relatively new skill that requires training and ongoing support. Knowledge management systems are used to support both individual and Organizational learning, and it is important that they are co-ordinated with all other individual learning initiatives and systems-training and performance support-to obtain maximum leverage from the investment in each (Ives, Gifford & Hankins, 1998). Within our firm, many training courses make use of performance support systems designed to assist in problem solving during learning activities. These performance support systems link to the knowledge management system for much of their material. Course participants are encouraged to make frequent use of the knowledge management system, either directly or through the performance support system. This knowledge management system use exposes participants to the procedures, scope, and benefits of knowledge management while they are still in the learning mode. Instructor-led and technology-based learning are also offered on how to use the knowledge management system, itself.
In turn, the knowledge management system supports training by providing course announcements, registration, and, in the case of many technology-based courses, actual training delivery. Recently, a number of new “virtual” instructor-led courses operated through the knowledge management system, allowing for online teaming and mentoring. Another new group of courses make use of an intranet approach to delivering computer-based training that is directly linked to the knowledge management system. These courses allow for both the dissemination of knowledge and skills around specific topics and the focused capture of new knowledge capital around these topics. Participants are encouraged to add their comments and experiences about selected course topics. This input goes directly into the relevant sections of the knowledge management system. For example, one course links to the home page covering that topic, and a section within the home page allows for course discussion to be available to others interested in the topic. New knowledge capital in the form of presentations and deliverables that have been generated by the course participants is directly fed into the relevant libraries for inclusion in the knowledge management system. The challenge for any organisation that is implementing knowledge management is to determine how it fits into the total array of learning initiatives. Likewise, the challenge when implementing learning initiatives is to determine how knowledge management can be integrated to provide support and gain maximum leverage from the investment.
Many factors that effect motivation to share knowledge have been covered under the previous factors; we add personal connection as another important motivator. Studies have shown that scientists and engineers exchange knowledge in direct proportion to the level of personal contact; Chrysler attributes a portion of its recent success in new car development to co-locating everyone involved (Davenport et al, 1998). This co-location is not practical in many organizations, but supplementing electronic exchange with face-to-face meetings is more possible. In our firm, much effort is made in bringing different communities of similar practice together so that networking can occur and relationships can be established. These recurring face-to-face meetings help sustain communication and knowledge sharing through the knowledge management system once people are scattered back on their individual projects. You are more likely to respond to a request for knowledge help from someone you know. You also will have a better understanding of what they already know and what they might need so that you can better target your response. Features to promote personal connection are also built into the system; for example, in some discussion databases, there is a button on discussion items that links to the personal profile of the individual making the contribution, so if you have not met the contributor, you can learn their background. These profiles are not the same as the official resumes used for client work; they are more informal and not limited to business experience. Some personal context and interests are also provided, so you have a better understanding of the individual.
Tara Jantzen, one of our Knowledge Managers, recently posted a question in a discussion database within our knowledge management system: “What would best motivate you to contribute to the knowledge management system?” The answers varied, and reflected many of the factors already covered in this article. They included: make sure it can be done as a normal part of the job, know that promotion is dependent on it, receive thanks and recognition, notify supervisors of the value, be thanked by peers, receive news of how others used the contribution, and know that it is an expected part of the culture of the organisation. There are individual and cultural differences in what drives any human performance. While being singled out as a “contributor of the month” may work in some U.S. organizations, in certain European countries it might result in ostracism by the worker’s peers. At an individual level, for some, the key driver is recognition; for others, it may be reward, a fear of failure, or the acquisition of new knowledge. If all of the human performance factors are working in concert to support knowledge sharing, then each of these motivators will be addressed.
Bill Ives and Ben Torrey are at Andersen Consulting. They can be contacted at:
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