Knowledge Sharing in Public Sector Organizations: The Effect of Organizational Characteristics on Interdepartmental Knowledge Sharing

Posted: 9 Jul 2008

See all articles by Annick Willem

Annick Willem

Vlerick Business School

Marc Buelens

Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School

Date Written: October 2007

Abstract

Public sector organizations are mainly knowledge-intensive organizations, and to exploit their knowledge, effective knowledge sharing among the different departments is required. We focus on specific characteristics of public sector organizations that increase or limit interdepartmental knowledge sharing. Three types of organization-specific coordination mechanisms directly influence knowledge sharing between departments. Organizations are also characterized by members' social identification and trust, which in the absence of power games are assumed to create a knowledge-sharing context. Data are collected by a questionnaire survey in the public sector. The sample consists of 358 cooperative episodes between departments in more than 90 different public sector organizations. Structural equation modeling reveals the importance of lateral coordination and trust. The combination of power games and informal coordination seems to be remarkably beneficial for knowledge sharing. Furthermore, compared with other public sector organizations, government institutions have organizational characteristics that are less beneficial for knowledge sharing.

Suggested Citation

Willem, Annick and Buelens, Marc, Knowledge Sharing in Public Sector Organizations: The Effect of Organizational Characteristics on Interdepartmental Knowledge Sharing (October 2007). Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Vol. 17, Issue 4, pp. 581-606, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1157235 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jopart/mul021

Annick Willem (Contact Author)

Vlerick Business School ( email )

Library
REEP 1
Gent, BE-9000
Belgium

Marc Buelens

Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School ( email )

Library
REEP 1
Gent, BE-9000
Belgium

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