Knowledge sharing is an activity through which knowledge (i.e. information, skills, or expertise) is exchanged among people, friends, or members of a family, a community or an organization.
Knowledge is a valuable intangible asset for creating and sustaining competitive advantages. Knowledge sharing activities are generally supported by knowledge management systems. However, technology constitutes only one of the many factors that affect the sharing of knowledge in organizations, such as organizational culture, trust, and incentives. The sharing of knowledge constitutes a major challenge in the field of knowledge management because some employees tend to resist sharing their knowledge with the rest of the organization.
One prominent obstacle is the notion that knowledge is property and ownership thus very important. In order to counteract this, individuals must be reassured that they will receive some type of incentive for what they create.
Dalkir (2005) identified the risk in knowledge sharing is that individuals are most commonly rewarded for what they know, not what they share. If knowledge is not shared, negative consequences such as isolation and resistance to ideas occur. Shared knowledge offers different viewpoints and possible solutions to problems.
To promote knowledge sharing and remove knowledge sharing obstacles, a culture should encourage discovery and innovation. This will result in the creation of organizational culture.