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The effect of ethno/lingo diversity on knowledge sharing effectiveness and conflict in groups

Ziaei, Seyyedali (2010) The effect of ethno/lingo diversity on knowledge sharing effectiveness and conflict in groups. Masters thesis, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Faculty of Management and Human Resource Development.



In today’s economy, the role and value of knowledge as the last competitive advantage has been suggested and the Knowledge Management (KM) concept has emerged and received great attention. A big part in KM is about managing the way knowledge flows in and between organizations i.e., managing Knowledge Sharing (KS). While technology admittedly facilitates KS, the success of KM efforts still depends highly on considering human factors. This research proposes that one of these human factors, ethno/lingo diversity, can significantly affect the success of KM practices; in particular knowledge sharing by influencing communication and social interaction among the members of a group. To test this proposition, a semiquantitative approach was taken. Homogeneous and heterogeneous groups were formed and asked to do a group task that needed discussion and knowledge sharing. By comparing the results in groups based on how diverse they are or simply based on their being homo- or heterogeneous, the hypothesis is tested. Furthermore, as the literature on diversity suggests, conflict is likely to be present and have a role in the diverse group processes. Hence, intragroup conflict is also gauged by means of a questionnaire. Groups were composed of voluntary students of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. The results show a significant and strong correlation between group diversity and knowledge sharing at group-level, but fail to show any significant relationship at the individual-level, or on conflict. The results imply the effect of social categorization on the willingness of individuals in groups to share knowledge. This way, one can assume positive influence of group homogeneity on knowledge sharing at least over the short term and conversely barriers to KS in the diverse groups. This fact may be borne in minds of managers when setting up groups depending heavily on KS, especially short-term groups and planning them more homogeneous. In long-term groups the effect can be reduced by diversity training or making use of reductive capabilities of information technologies.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information:Thesis (Sarjana Pengurusan (Teknologi)) - Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 2010; Supervisor : Assoc. Prof. Dr. Khalil Md. Nor
Uncontrolled Keywords:ethno/lingo diversity, knowledge management, knowledge sharing
Subjects:H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions:Management and Human Resource Development
ID Code:31269
Deposited By: Narimah Nawil
Deposited On:24 Jul 2013 06:17
Last Modified:30 May 2018 04:27

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