The networks of knowledge are going to be dependent up on each other. That is why the business is going to be getting the benefits of the team instead of just each person involved. This is why Transactive Memory Systems continue to be used today.
There are some experts that believe it isn’t enough to just share various types of knowledge within the business though. They feel that sharing such information among other companies is where they will incur the most overall value. This can help them to gain plenty of value that collectively those firms can monopolize the market. This all comes down to the level of cooperation that is in place though. All parties must feel that it is a win win situation for them or they won’t take part in it. They certainly don’t want to give out knowledge but then not get anything of value in return.
Reaching well beyond the boundaries of your own business can help you to strengthen your entire business. There can be weak areas within your establishment, and this will help you to be able to make them better. As a result of this you can grow your business in new directions. You will be able to make money from plentiful opportunities out there in the market that you may not have been able to reasonably take part in before.
Absorption capacity is there regardless of you are talking about the knowledge being shared internally or externally though. However, any business depends on the capacity of the individual members. Therefore it should be the goal of any business to gain the knowledge of its employees. Then they can share it from there with other companies as long as they have a solid relationship with them. Of course you wouldn’t want that information being shared to get to your competitors so trust is essential.
In order to make sure everyone is on the same page though, learning common languages within a give segment of a business is important. Your own employees will have their lingo down so they can communicate with it and the right interpretations will be taken away by your other employees. Be careful though about how that same information in absorbed externally due to their language barriers. Clarify what needs to be in place so that there aren’t any issues due to miscommunication.
There are cultural differences as well that can prevent the successful sharing of knowledge. Keep in mind that culture has many different degrees. For example it can be national, religious, organizational, and more. It is important to take a good look at those types of issues as well as the internal environment before agreeing to share knowledge with other businesses.
Yet it can work so don’t assume that it won’t. Think about how many different types of business out there are now operating on an international level. They even have corporate locations in different countries. Being able to successfully overcome such barriers has allowed this to work smoothly for them.
Many studies show that when employees are diversified based upon location. This type of diversification can actually help to stimulate different types of creative ideas coming to life. The uncertainty out there can definitely be reduced when the methods used for the communication to take place are on an even level.
In 2002 there were studies done about this in both Japan and Denmark. The subject matter of both had to do with collaborative workgroups for computer domains. The way in which they communicated within their groups were very different. In the Danish group they allowed all of the participants to help design the systems. The Japanese group didn’t work with the users at all. Therefore they weren’t able to validate the systems and how to apply them.
Even though both of these groups had the same types of information to work with, it was the way in which they distributed it that make it work or not work very well. The cultural norms of the Danish and the Japanese are very different too which is why they each took the approach that they did. As you can see from this example, there are some limitations that come into play culturally with knowledge sharing.
These types of barriers can be removed on a personal, business specific, and cultural level though just by taking notice of them. Evaluating what is best overall for the business can help bring new methods for sharing knowledge to the table. Identifying the limits that are holding you back is the first step to making it better. You don’t want to be your own worst enemy when it comes to gaining from knowledge management.
There is no denying that knowledge is definitely a valuable commodity for any business. It is a way to take a good business and make it exceptional. Consider all of the ways in which you can take such an access and make it work for you.