Voluntary Engagement in Knowledge Sharing

Our paper titled “Lending a helping hand: Voluntary engagement in knowledge sharing” is available online at InderScience now. Together with my co-authors David Lazer and Maria Christina Binz-Scharf, we analyzed data on DNA Forensic Scientists and their informal knowledge sharing acitivities:

Knowledge is essential for the functioning of every social system, especially for professionals in knowledge-intensive organisations. Since individuals do not possess all the work-related knowledge that they require, they turn to others in search for that knowledge. While prior research has mainly focused on antecedents and consequences of knowledge sharing and understanding why people do not share knowledge, less is known why people provide knowledge, and what conditions trigger voluntary engagement in knowledge sharing. Our article addresses this gap by proposing a multi-level framework for voluntary engagement in knowledge sharing: individual, relational, group, and informational. We provide illustrations from a particular knowledge-intensive community, DNA forensic scientists who work at public laboratories.

Full paper version in pdf is available here.

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About Ines Mergel

I am Full Professor of Public Administration at the Department of Politics and Public Administration at University of Konstanz, Germany. Previously, I served as Assistant and then Associate Professor (with tenure) at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, NY. In my research, I focus on informal social networks in the public sector and the adoption and diffusion of digital service innovations in government organizations. I teach classes on social media management, digital government, public management, and social network analysis.

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