Contemporary Issues In Management

Read Complete Research Material


Contemporary Issues in Management Research & Practice


The study uses an in-depth case-research approach focusing specifically on Siemens ShareNet in China. A total of 35 interviews have been conducted with executives, general managers, and line managers within different units at the headquarters as well as in China. Knowledge management needs to take the cultural dimension into consideration, as culture decisively influences knowledge-sharing behavior. Potential for knowledge sharing in the emerging market of China is higher than one may expect, if the necessary adjustment to the cultural context can be made. This research paper investigates a single case focusing on Siemens ShareNet in China. Thus, the findings may have limitations in their generalizability. Any future research needs to pay more attention to both “non-monetary incentives” and “cultural impact” of knowledge sharing, as theses two issues are of particular value while so far largely unexplored. Knowledge management officers are able to deepen their understanding of motivations and barriers of knowledge sharing especially in the Chinese context. The paper also demonstrates potentials for hands-on improvements.

Table of Contents




Research methodology6

Literature review related to managing knowledge in China7

Creating a global knowledge-sharing network: the Siemens ShareNet case10


Case study Siemens ShareNet in China14

Motivations for participating in ShareNet15

Barriers to using ShareNet18

Language barriers18

Cultural barriers19

Unreliability of the incentive system20

Operative barriers20

Miscellaneous barriers21

Managerial implications and conclusion22

List of Figure27


Contemporary Issues in Management Research & Practice


Knowledge management has for nearly a decade been widely accepted as a key success factor with which companies can create value. Although knowledge management was a fledgling concept in Western businesses only a few years ago, it has become an important management practice within an increasing number of multinational companies (MNCs). Previous studies by Nonaka (1994), Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995), Davenport and Prusak (1998), von Krogh et al. (2000a, b), and Voelpel (2003) have demonstrated that a company's individual and organizational knowledge serves as one of the cornerstones for its sustained competitive advantages. In other words, a company's performance is linked directly to the utilization of its knowledge resources, i.e. the knowledge of the organization and its employees.

Creation of knowledge can lead to innovation, as many researchers discovered (see Leonard-Barton, 1995; Leonard and Sensiper, 1998; von Krogh et al., 2000a, b), but also to value creation (see Davenport and Prusak, 1998; von Krogh et al., 2000a, b). One of the common practices in transforming the process of knowledge creation into innovation or value creation is to use virtual communities of knowledge sharing.

Many well-known multinational companies, such as Hewlett Packard, DaimlerChrysler (Davenport and Voelpel, 2001), British Petroleum (Cohen and Prusak, 1996), Chevron, Ford, Xerox, Raytheon, IBM (Ellis, 2001), Siemens (Davenport and Probst, 2002; Voelpel, 2003), Shell (Haimila, 2001), and Caterpillar (Ardichvili et al., 2003), to name only a few, have integrated different kinds of virtual knowledge sharing systems. Despite the research that has been done on multinational companies practicing knowledge management throughout their globally dispersed subsidiaries, very little is known about particularities of practicing knowledge management in the context of a specific ...
Related Ads