Mythmaking and Knowledge Sharing: Living Organizational Myths and the Broadening of Opportunity Structures for Knowledge Sharing in a Scandinavian Engineering Consultant Company

11 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2003

See all articles by Emil Royrvik

Emil Royrvik

SINTEF Industrial Management

Egil Wulff

SINTEF Industrial Management

J. E. Ricart

University of Navarra - IESE Business School

Pablo Sanchez

University of Navarra, IESE Business School

Abstract

With examples from Scandiaconsult, a Scandinavian engineering consultant company, this paper is an exploration of some of the constructive mythological aspects of living knowledge emerging in the symbolic interaction of organizational work life. Framed within the overall challenge of organizational knowledge sharing, and the approach of the communal resource as a (partial) solution to that, we more specifically look at ways of broadening the opportunity structures for knowledge sharing through the twin principles of organizational myths and rituals - as processes whereby people can identify and tap into the reservoir of living knowledge in the organization life, often in the realm of the informal or shadow organization. We explore in what ways the myths and rituals can leverage knowledge sharing especially in the face of distributed work environments inhabited by multiplex interested knowledge workers, and in our case with the additional challenge of mergers and acquisitions. We argue that active mythmaking is very far from manipulation or plain rhetoric, but rather a complex and interwoven processes of displaying cultural premises and transforming barriers and misbelieves into trustworthy relationships, and thus rendering possible conditions for lowering the costs of knowledge sharing. The mythmaking, of course, has to be deeply interwoven with the already existing mythic reservoir.

Suggested Citation

Royrvik, Emil and Wulff, Egil and Enric Ricart, Joan and Sanchez, Pablo, Mythmaking and Knowledge Sharing: Living Organizational Myths and the Broadening of Opportunity Structures for Knowledge Sharing in a Scandinavian Engineering Consultant Company. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=368754

Emil Royrvik (Contact Author)

SINTEF Industrial Management ( email )

N-7465 Trondheim
Norway

Egil Wulff

SINTEF Industrial Management ( email )

N-7465 Trondheim
Norway

Joan Enric Ricart

University of Navarra - IESE Business School ( email )

Avenida Pearson 21
Barcelona, 08034
Spain
34 3 204 40 00 (Phone)
34 3 280 11 77 (Fax)

Pablo Sanchez

University of Navarra, IESE Business School

Avenida Pearson 21
Barcelona, 08034
Spain

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
30
Abstract Views
855
PlumX Metrics