Informal knowledge sharing in a strong competitive environment

In Upadhya’s research many people commented about the fact that there is a lot of reaching out in terms of information sharing. Most of this knowledge sharing is self-organized within the limits of certain tasks and deadlines.

Interesting enough, this knowledge sharing happens not only between and within teams, but also between workers of different companies. Every company has this knowledge management system that is supposed to capture the knowledge which is created, but it actually doesn’t. A lot of knowledge is circulating in informal ways and those informal networks reach beyond the company. People will post a question on the Internet and people from other companies will answer. However, most companies are concerned about their Intellectual Property Rights and try to prevent this by closing down external networks like the Internet. Because the companies make this security ring, this is something people will go home and do, as became evident in Upadhya’s research. In this information sharing the whole question of promotion and salary is always in the background. People do not want to share too much, on the other hand you do help each other and you don’t want your boss to know when you are in trouble, you reach out to other people. This is where the knowledge sharing becomes complex, because if one shares too much knowledge with colleagues, this may give them one step ahead for promotion, so the competition is always there.