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  • 2020ChifieroPhD

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Knowledge management: understanding the cultural context of knowledge transfer

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Published
  • Astra Chifiero
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Publication date2020
Number of pages240
QualificationPhD
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Award date21/02/2020
Publisher
  • Lancaster University
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Knowledge as a key resource to the success of a business is widely recognised. It has, therefore, become imperative that organisations can build on the knowledge within the organisation and leverage their employees experiences through knowledge transfer. Social interactions have been identified as essential to the effective transfer of knowledge and require an understanding of the cultural context which influences these interactions. A review of the literature shows that research into knowledge transfer has focused on the inter-organisational transfer of knowledge between cultures. There is however a paucity of research on knowledge transfer practices in Nigeria. The aim of this thesis is to explore employees understanding of the organisational and national cultural complexities influencing knowledge transfer within professional service firms in Nigeria. Empirical research is undertaken to gain insight into employees perception
of organisational and national culture on intra-organisational knowledge transfer. Data is collected by interviewing thirty employees in three professional service firms. The findings show that cultural artefacts such as shared language, terms of address, physical settings and mode of dressing create knowledge transfer behaviours such as approachability and openness to engage in knowledge transfer which in turn creates an environment of trust and open communication. Additional findings also indicate that employees use the enabling culture of the organisation to take ownership of their knowledge needs through self-directed learning due to a lack of professional knowledge and engaging in altruistic behaviour to create credibility and legitimise their place within the organisation. This study contributes to knowledge transfer practices in Nigeria and research in professional services firms. The research emphasises the need to undertake knowledge transfer research in culturally diverse nations which provides novel insights into employees knowledge transfer practices as a result of the cultural context.