Deterrents to Knowledge-sharing in the Pharmaceutical Industry: A Case Study
March 23, 2015 Editor 0
Journal of Knowledge Management, Volume 19, Issue 2, April 2015.
Purpose Effective knowledge-sharing is fundamental to stimulation of the process of knowledge absorption. The limited proximal communication between the employees in the pharmaceutical industry stifles their knowledge-sharing behaviour significantly. This study explored deterrents to knowledge-sharing in pharmaceutical manufacturing. Design/methodology/approach A cross-sectional case study, consisting of semi-structured interviews with managers and scientists, was conducted in a multinational pharmaceutical company in Australia. Respondents were asked to answer questions regarding their current knowledge-sharing practices and to identify organisational deterrents to knowledge-sharing. The data were condensed into themes according to the thematic analysis method. Findings The pharmaceutical industry is extensively regulated and its excessive competitiveness is cultivating organisational reticence towards the development of a knowledge-sharing culture. Nine categories of deterrents to intra- (within) and inter-organisational (between organisations) knowledge-sharing have been identified. These categories include high cost of sharing knowledge, information technology limitations, knowledge-hiding, lack of socialisation, lack of trust culture, non-educational mindset, organisational politics, poor leadership and time pressure. Research limitations/implications The population of this study consists of managers and practitioners working for a pharmaceutical company. Hence the generalisability of the findings to other healthcare settings is unknown. Practical implications The findings have implications for leaders and managers who should be aware of these professional diversities, instigators as well as the ripple effects of limited knowledge-sharing in order to guide the organisation towards developing an optimal knowledge-sharing culture. Originality/value A focused investigation of knowledge-sharing behaviour within the pharmaceutical industry in Australia, considering the pressure applied to this industry over the last decade. A case study that specifically focuses on the diversity of deterrents to knowledge-sharing in the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry.
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