An Exploration of Knowledge Sharing Practices, Barriers and Enablers in Small and Micro- Organisations

Alex Kevill, Bejan Analoui

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This chapter responds to calls for more research into knowledge management in small and micro-enterprises by reporting an empirical study into knowledge sharing in two micro-enterprises and one small enterprise. This qualitative study investigates knowledge sharing practices, enablers of knowledge sharing and barriers to knowledge sharing within these organisations. Findings show that the majority of knowledge sharing is consistent with the personalisation approach of Hansen et al. (Harvard Business Review, 77(2), 106–116, 1999) but that there are also some attempts to move towards formal codification. Four enablers of knowledge sharing are identified: (1) desire to develop organised knowledge sharing; (2) recognition of importance of knowledge sharing; (3) motivation to practise knowledge sharing; (4) close proximity and social relationships between practitioners. Time constraints and a lack of understanding of the knowledge requirements of others represent two constraints to knowledge sharing. Reflecting on the findings, we suggest that while there are similarities between enablers and barriers in organisations of all sizes, these enablers and barriers have an enhanced significance in small and micro-enterprises due to resource constraints and the exaggerated level of control of the owner-manager and employees. We close the chapter by considering the implications for practitioners and policy-makers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Knowledge Management
EditorsJawad Syed, Peter A. Murray, Donald Hislop, Yusra Mouzughi
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9783319714349
ISBN (Print)9783319714332
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


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