Sharing knowledge means exchanging knowledge with someone else. The term knowledge comprises the subcategories information, skills and expertise.
Knowledge can be an asset for developing and retaining competitive advantages and is therefore important for businesses. Organizations invest time and money in knowledge management or KM systems in order for knowledge to be shared among members of their company. Since some employees are not willing to share their knowledge with others, which is probably due to the fact that knowledge is considered intellectual property and is therefore highly valuable, it is important to create a motivation for knowledge sharing. Sharing knowledge can help to see things from a different point of view and find solutions to a problem. The notion that innovation and discovery are important for a company can have a positive effect on knowledge sharing. If co-workers share their knowledge, all employees will be able to draw from a pool of collective knowledge of all members of the company. This will speed up product development and the production process and will generally help in creating a more effective work environment. It is crucial to enable all employees access to this knowledge pool, for example with the help of technological tools such as databases, wikis and blogs. For specific questions it can be useful to put up a help desk where employees can ask questions on specific topics and problems. The use of the Internet will also make it easier to share knowledge on the go, for example by using smartphones for communication.
Knowledge sharing generally involves communication among members of a company. It is therefore vital to enable communication on all areas and for all employees. Using email to communicate can be rather ineffective, since email correspondence will usually happen between two parties only. Making knowledge accessible to all employees when a question arises will prevent going in circles and therefore make the work process more efficient. It might be worthwhile considering more recent and interactive communication systems such as chat programs, blogs and wikis, which make information readily available for everyone and enable commenting on other people’s discussions, in combination with cellphones or smartphones, which enable receiving and sending information at any given time or place.