This website covers knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

Knowledge hoarding is a symptom

A commonly-discussed problem in knowledge management implementations is the issue of knowledge hoarding, generally associated with the idea of "knowledge is power."  Kaye Vivian takes a very different approach in Knowledge Hoarding (is it real?)

[story about "knowledge transfer" due to outsourcing] ... Iā€™m always surprised that they are surprised because workers are hoarding their knowledge and not telling the new service provider everything they know. In this case, unwillingness to tell all is actually a symptom of a deeper underlying issue ā€” job insecurity.

She goes on to make some more observations about what seems to be knowledge hoarding and talks about what might be really happening under the hood of the individual "hoarders" as well as the organization at large.  For individuals, it comes down to perception of value and fear, and for organizations the problem is a matter of what is encouraged and rewarded. 

This also relates back to an article I found a while back on the Impact of KM on Employees, which suggested that KM repositories can create a situation that moves more power into the hands of management, exactly the kinds of concerns that create the opposite of a knowledge sharing environment -- and environment that exhibits knowledge hoarding. 

Kaye Vivian has been writing some excellent essays on knowledge management and her experiences with it, and she tells me in e-mail that there is more to come.

Facts and conversations

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