Organization, Information and Learning Sciences ETDs

Publication Date



Organizations struggle with the need for an aggregate of the knowledge that is known by individuals in their employment. Generally this is knowledge that was gained through effort completed for the business. In the technical industry this is often emergent knowledge that is discovered through work experience and not always documented in general publication. Knowledge is acquired by an individual through personal endeavor and investment and is not always easily captured or shared with others. It is necessary for management to have access to this knowledge in order to make decisions that will provide the ability for an organization to respond to change, reduce the costs of redundant work and ultimately, remain competitive in their industry. Individuals need this knowledge to validate their technical direction, remain innovative, and ensure their productivity. Thus, knowledge must be shareable to be of optimal value to an organization. This study determined factors that contribute to individuals technical knowledge sharing and provides propositions for business processes that organizations can adopt to ensure that their technical knowledge will be shareable. Using constructivist grounded theory method of qualitative inquiry, fifteen individuals in technical organizations participated in interviews to determine the factors that affected their sharing of technical knowledge. Through open-ended questions, these participants shared their experiences and opinions of technical knowledge sharing. The findings in this study are presented in a theoretical framework comprised of 6 themes that emerged from the data gathered in the interviews. These themes define factors that contribute to technical knowledge sharing. These are: 1) sharing as a sense of responsibility, 2) values from knowledge sharing, 3) degree that sharing was affected by role, 4) impact of method on knowledge sharing, 5) obstacles to knowledge sharing, and 6) culture as it affects knowledge sharing. These themes are used to provide propositions for employers to consider when investing in technical knowledge sharing solutions for their organizations.

Degree Name

Organizational Learning and Instructional Technology

Level of Degree


Department Name

Organization, Information & Learning Sciences

First Advisor

Gunawardena, Charlotte

First Committee Member (Chair)

Salisbury, Mark

Second Committee Member

Logsdon, Jeanne

Third Committee Member

Rajan, Mahesh




Knowledge management, Organizational learning--Management, Intellectual capital--Management, Corporate culture, Research, Industrial--Management

Document Type