Staff still reluctant to share information

"Knowledge management" may be the buzzword of the moment but many
staff hoard knowledge rather than share it.

The trend emerged in research by Birkbeck College, London, and is
particularly strong among "knowledge workers", such as those working
in the media.

Nearly one in five (18 per cent) agreed or strongly agreed with the
statement, "It is not in my best interests to share my good ideas
freely".

It is also evident in the health service and IT.

Mark Auckland, chief knowledge manager at BT Global, said it is a natural
reaction because people have traditionally been rewarded for individual, not
team, performance.

BT has tried to break the habit by giving recognition to staff who share
knowledge and including it in appraisals and performance management plans.

"It is starting to be recognised that those who give the most are the
ones who get on. They get to work on the best and most interesting
projects," he said.

But he admitted it is a struggle. "These are hard habits to break,
there is no magic pixie dust," he said.

In global business markets which have had a knowledge management system for
more than two years, 30 per cent participate, 30 per cent show interest and 30
per cent hoard," he said.

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