Key determinants of research-knowledge sharing in UK higher education institutions
Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis
Knowledge sharing (KS) has attracted increasing attention in business circles. Links between knowledge sharing practice and organisational performance have long been demonstrated. Knowledge sharing is driven by three key enablers, i.e. people (Fliaster, 2004; Jayasingam et al., 2010; Kulkarni, et al., 2006); organisation (Bartlett & Ghoshal, 1998; Tsai, 2002; Van den Hoof & Huysman, 2009); and information technology (Robinson et al., 2010; Tseng, 2008). Despite the breadth of research into the practice of knowledge sharing in commercial sectors, there is a lack of research into research-knowledge sharing (RKS) in higher education (HE). The practice of knowledge sharing in higher education institutions (HEIs) is critical, particularly in relation to RKS, which could influence university research activity and performance. However, the nature of research-knowledge and the process of sharing research-knowledge have not been practically explored. Most importantly, the relationship between RKS and university research performance has not yet been fully examined. This study attempts to ascertain the nature and the process of sharing research-knowledge in HEIs in general, and to examine the influence of the desired key determinants on RKS in particular. Eight UK universities are selected for this study, which are examined in two sub-groups: the Pre-1992 and the Post-1992 universities. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches are used to conduct the study. The study found that RKS is influenced by the three enablers, but implicit research culture is critical in determining the differences between Pre-1992 and Post-1992 University‘s research performance. In addition, RKS follows a distinctive process – knowledge hoarding-knowledge seeking-knowledge sharing. Furthermore, there is a positive relationship between research-leadership and research-knowledge sharing, which is centred on interactive relationship with professors. The findings of this study provide original insight into the specific field of knowledge sharing which adds knowledge to the body of knowledge management and organisational culture. They are of great importance to research-leaders in HEIs to develop and implement research strategies.
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