Today, as more organizations seek to gain competitive edge by increasing their
knowledge base assets, there is a growing trend in the companies to deploy knowledge
management strategies in their business. The research indicates that the large number small and
medium enterprises are adopting knowledge management strategies, than larger organizations, to
move ahead of their competition. Their way of implementing knowledge management is way
different than large organizations ( McAdam and Reid, 2001; Desouza and Awazu, 2006; Basly,
2007; Supyuenyong et al, 2009).
All the organizations have access to extensive knowledge in the form of customer
knowledge, their needs, the skills required to perform a task, experience required etc. The way
by which this pool of knowledge is maintained and shared by the organization is of central
importance. The knowledge management benefits not only large organizations but also to the
local manufacturing firms and small business enterprises. These SME‟s are benefiting more from
the effective use of knowledge management due to varying reasons, the chief ones among them
are; the less amount of risk and capital is used in these enterprises so the owners or management
do not hesitate to take risks in order to maximize their profits and gain competitive advantage
from the competitors in the markets.
There are various modes of knowledge already present in the businesses which can be
found in the: workforce experiences, the functional and operational performance of the
organization, the files or documents held digitally or on paper, the future goals and ideas of the
organization and so on. The challenge is to effectively utilize these assets in order to maximize
the performance and production of the organization.
An effective knowledge management strategy will guide the knowledge sharing in various
levels of an organization including:
Between different organizations
This paper will contribute to the development of pool of information for the knowledge
sharing among the small and medium enterprises by relating the results of a study which will
explore the knowledge sharing activities in two Australian small and medium enterprises
(SME‟s). the attention will be paid to the ways by which the SME‟s use their formal and
informal knowledge facilities, and how the leadership in these enterprises influence the
knowledge sharing behavior of people. The study will also find out the effectiveness of
knowledge sharing within the small and medium enterprises and its impact on their productivity.
The study will also include the ways to collect the important data relative to the knowledge
sharing within the Small and medium enterprises and the results will be interpreted on the basis
of findings and the recommendations will be made.
The study will be helpful to the managers, owners, employees, workers and other involved
parties of small and medium organizations to understand the role of knowledge sharing within
the organizations, its effectiveness and its impact on their organizational an d employee
Knowledge is a mixture of experiences, values, culture, information, and expert reviews
that provides guidance for conducting and implementing new ideas and research. In the
organizations, knowledge is often found in the documentation or in the repositories as well as in
the routines of people, processes, functions, norms and practice (Evangelista, Esposito, Lauro, &
Knowledge is divided into two divisions; tacit and explicit knowledge. Tacit knowledge
takes its place in the minds, is expressed through application in various things and this type of
knowledge can be transferred via learning and watching how things are happening. The explicit
knowledge, on the other hand, is easy to grasp, it can be easily obtained and secured in the
databases. It can be created, noted and transferred to the people either verbally or through
electronic programs. (Ngah & Jusoff, 2009).
Knowledge is very important asset to organizations and small and medium enterprises
(SME‟s). It allows the people to obtain and retain competitive advantage over competition. For
this reason, Knowledge sharing plays very significant role in the firms and organizations. The
knowledge sharing is one of the strategic implications used by the organizations to maximize
their profits and productivity. The knowledge sharing provides them the opportunities to learn
and understand to implement innovation to their systems and processes to remain in the
competition (Alwi, Hamid &Bakar, 2009). Barber et al (1989) explained the knowledge sharing
activities in the SME‟s and the importance of knowledge sharing to them; he mentioned that the
SME‟s tends to be smaller firms and usually the rate of turnover is high in them, so the
knowledge must be acquired from the specialists working in these firms to maximize their
The knowledge sharing is based on the principle of transferring important and useful
information from one person to another in the system or organization (Gouza, 2006). This
requires the organization‟s ability to transfer knowledge from one part to another. If the
knowledge is only saved in the databases and is not used by the people then no one can get
benefited from it and it cannot be utilized to learn. For instance, if the mistakes are recorded but
not communicated with the people then they will never learn and understand from those mistakes
(Evangelista, Esposito, Lauro, &Raffa, 2010). The ability of an organization to transfer
information from one place to another and utilize it for its better performance is highly
dependent on the people working in it (Alwi, Hamid &Bakar, 2009). Without sharing knowledge
and information, it is impossible to learn and perform in accordance to gain maximized impact
Knowledge sharing involves acquiring existing knowledge, and applying it to develop
and obtain new ideas or enhance the existing one to make a process and function to perform
better or safer than it would have been before. This implies, knowledge sharing is not only about
the exploring the resources but it also suggests the measures of its acquisition and absorption to
make things and processes effective and efficient (Liyanage, Elhag, Ballal & Li, 2009).
There are many models of knowledge sharing identified by the researchers helpful for the
firms in knowledge sharing, among them are; Bozeman (2000), Ngoc (2005) and Branchos et.al
(2007) models which are highly appreciated and utilized by the organizations for the process of
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The study will discuss the effectiveness of adopting Knowledge sharing within small and
medium enterprises. The study will also help to understand the role of knowledge sharing or
knowledge management in the organizations, Small and Medium Enterprises (SME‟s) in
particular. So it is entitled as “the effectiveness of adopting knowledge sharing within Small and
Medium Enterprises (SME‟s).”
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The study will conducted under the following objectives:
I) To understand the role of knowledge sharing within small and medium enterprises
II) To find out the effectiveness of knowledge sharing within small and medium
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Knowledge management or knowledge sharing has become very important for today‟s
organizations. The rapid growth of information technology, the globalization of economies and
increased emphasis on the knowledge and information gathering and cut throat competition
among the companies in the market has made it inevitable for the organizations to pursue the
ways through which the organizations can maximize their profits and gain productive
One way of getting these things done is to increase the flow of information and
knowledge within the organization. This can be done by knowledge sharing from top to bottom
of the organization via internal and external means. Knowledge sharing is a systematic process
through which knowledge and learning is created, acquired, organized, learned, shared and
further utilized in the organizations to achieve their goals and objectives in the long run. The
knowledge can be acquired through various means. It can be gained from the experiences of the
management, it can be inside the minds of employees, it can be explored through lectures from
outside resource persons, and the knowledge can be stored in the form of electronic database and
The knowledge sharing is a very interesting concept that have gained lot of attraction
from large to small and medium enterprises (SME‟s) across the globe to maximize their
likelihood of success. The knowledge sharing also have to face some barriers while its
implementation. Those barriers might be the culture, the management, the accessibility of
functions and procedures, the equipment, the facilities etc. but once the barriers are overcome,
the knowledge sharing can benefit the organization for their long term achievements.
The knowledge management requires carefully planned strategy to be implemented
within the organizations. It also requires a platform where the people can interact with each other
and knowledge exchange can take place. Knowledge sharing provides many fold benefits to the
businesses that those opportunities cannot be neglected. It is a source through which meaningful
information can be transformed and utilized into important figures and facts that can be used in
the businesses to create value for the customers and employees etc.
The study will be beneficial to the large organizations as well as small and medium enterprises
(SME‟s) at large. The study will explore the importance of knowledge sharing within these
organizations and how the knowledge sharing can be enhanced to gain additional profits and
efficiency. The study will benefit to the managers, owners, employees, workers to motivate them
for the knowledge sharing experience and will help them to explore the opportunities to open up
and communicate their valuable insights with one another.
The study will benefit the set of people who will benefit from the experiences, case studies,
stories of the external leaders who will guide them through their own experiences in their
organizations. The study will benefit the people to find out the factors that hinder their likelihood
of success in the process of achieving their goals. The study will also explore the effectiveness of
knowledge sharing and its impact on the profitability of small and medium enterprises (SME‟s).
This study will also benefit them in order to devise active strategies for the implementation of
knowledge sharing in their processes, functions and other business units.
DELIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The study will be delimited to:
1) Small and Medium Enterprises (SME‟s) only.
2) Two Australian small and medium enterprises (SME‟s) only.
3) The experiences, stories, facilities, information, modes of sharing of those two small and
medium enterprises (SME‟s) only.
QUESTIONS OF THE STUDY
In order to achieve the research objectives following questions will be formulated:
1. Does the knowledge sharing motivate the people to share innovative ideas?
It has been an established fact that knowledge sharing is an important process and it
should be analyzed in order to create the collective outcomes within the organization.
Knowledge sharing experiences motivate people and help them open up to the new
perspectives and ideas. It can help the people to share and implement innovative ideas
2. Does the knowledge sharing have become an advantage for the organizational
The knowledge sharing has found to be very beneficial to the organizations for their
success in long run. The knowledge sharing allows the people and management to
interact and communicate with each other to share their experiences and ideas which lead
to the development of strategies and various processes are formed. These processes when
implemented in the organizations become the key success factors of an organization.
3. What is the role of knowledge sharing in the productivity of Small and Medium
Peter Drucker (1999) emphasized that the most important and unique contribution the
management has provided in twentieth century was the many fold increase in the
productivity of the workers in manufacturing. The very crucial contribution required by
the management is now to increase the productivity of knowledge and knowledge
workers among them.
The knowledge sharing allows differentiated productivity model within the organizations
to get benefited of.
4. What are the advantages of knowledge sharing that benefit the management of
Small and Medium Enterprises?
The level of interest in knowledge sharing has been increased from several years. Many
companies are now appreciating and applying the knowledge sharing to enhance their
performance and products or services. These benefits may include: globalization and
competition, command on pricing in the market, restructuring and downsizing, sharing
the best practices, successful innovation and other benefits like customer retention,
problem solving techniques and adaptation to the changes, all may result from the
knowledge sharing within the organizations.
5. How these advantages can be effectively utilized in the productivity of Small and
Medium Enterprises (SME’s)?
Once the knowledge is communicated and stored in the digital database or minds of
people, then every one can get benefits from those experiences, stories, team associations
etc. and can be utilized to enhance the productivity of workers and the organizations as a
METHODOLOGY OF THE STUDY
Design of the study
The research design will follow descriptive research methodology. The descriptive research
design is a scientific method that uses observations and the description of the behaviors of
the subject without influencing it in any way.
The population of the study will be comprised of all the Small and Medium Enterprises
(SME‟s) in Australia.
Sample and Sampling Technique
The sample of the study will consist of two Small and Medium Enterprises (SME‟s) of
different industrial background from Australia. In order to carry out the sample out of
population, Purposive sampling technique will be used. The purposive sampling is used when
we want to conduct a research with a specific population in mind and the sample is selected
to include the people of interest and to exclude those who do not match the purpose.
Tools of research
The research will be conducted through the use of following research tools:
Case Study Technique
Social Network Analysis
Force Field Analysis
Personal Experiences/ Stories
Staff Profile Pages
Systematic Knowledge Process (libraries)
Development of tool
The research tool will be divided into two main categories:
Knowledge Sharing Internally
Knowledge Sharing Externally
Internal Knowledge Sharing
The Internal Knowledge Sharing involves the case study technique, social network analysis,
systematic knowledge process and force field analysis.
External Knowledge Sharing
The external knowledge sharing involves force field analysis, personal experiences and staff
profile pages. The external knowledge sharing also involves systematic knowledge process.
Case Study Technique: the case study approach will be adopted to compare and contrast the
aspects of knowledge sharing in these SMEs.
Personal Experiences/ Stories: the organizational leaders who actively promote and
participate in knowledge sharing will be identified. These leaders will be exchanged with the
leaders of other organization to share their stories and personal experiences.
Social Network Analysis: it involves the comparison between the organization‟s social
networking and between the social lives of individuals. It can be measured via socio-metric
technique which entails the answers like „Who is the most favorite‟
Force Field Analysis: it enables the teams to work on their goals and identify the factors that
hinder and support to achieve their goals. Force Field Analysis is a classic change
management tool developed by Kurt Lewin which empowers the teams to achieve their
Systematic Knowledge Process (libraries): this process is supported by specialists in
information management (librarians) but with close partnership between users and providers
Staff Profile Pages: it involves the digital database of the staff profiles and their effective
utilization in order to maximize the effective productivity and profitability of an
The tool administration involves how the tools will be used to achieve the research
Case Study Technique will used to compare and contrast the strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities and threats & fears to the organizations, the participating roles in the
organization and knowledge sharing facilities will be analyzed.
Personal Experiences/Stories will involve the selective members of both the Small and
Medium Enterprises to share and exchange their experiences based on seminars and lectures.
The more presentable and knowledgeable lectures will get more effective response.
In Force Field Analysis the hindrances and supporting factors will be jot down for further
analysis and interpretations
Staff Profile Pages will involve the data basing of the staff and their experiences, stories etc.
to find out the important links in knowledge sharing.
Systematic Knowledge Sharing will involve the libraries and the access to different studies
based on real time environments.
Statistical techniques will be used for data analysis and on the basis on these inferences will
be drawn. Following techniques will be used to analyze the data:
Mean of the data
Standard Deviation (S.D) of the gathered data
The percentage method, mean, Standard Deviation and skewness will be used for the data
analysis process. These methods are used in the descriptive analysis of the research and data. The
descriptive statistics provide the basic understanding of the data in a particular study. They help
to find out the basic features and summaries about the sample and its uses. They are used to
explain what is what in the data without intervening in the process.
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The Summary of findings, the conclusions drawn from the findings and
recommendations will be made on the basis of analysis of data.
The researcher may incur the following limitations during its research:
issues in data collection
little or no cooperation from the SME‟s (sampling issue)
management‟s failure to cooperate
Biased experiences of the management
Failure to accept the researcher‟s proposal to work
Data may be outdated or of no use to the researcher
The techniques used by the company to collect and interpret the data may be different
from the industrial techniques
The employees or workers may hesitate to provide their information.
Firm‟s failure to acknowledge the researcher‟s demands of cooperation
The policies of the firm may collide with the researcher‟s work requirements
The employees may hesitate to provide their insights
The data provided by the firm may have limited application or fail to fulfill the
requirements of the research
TIME TABLE FOR THE PROJECT
The time line required to conduct and complete this study is given below:
Approximately one month will be required to conduct and use the related literature review.
On the basis of literature review, 1 month will be required for the tool development
3-6 months will be required for the data collection to analyze the changes within the
Data Analysis, Interpretation and Conclusion
1-2 months will be required for the data analysis, interpretations and conclusions.
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