Knowledge Sharing Among Communities of Practice in Public Universities in Kenya
Knowledge as the fourth factor of production is significant in the knowledge economy. In particular, it can be asserted that Knowledge sharing through Communities of Practice (CoPs) creates a competitive advantage for Universities. The purpose of this study was to analyze knowledge sharing among communities of practice in selected public universities in Kenya. The study was guided by Wengerâ€™s Communities of Practice Theory.The paper used a desk-top research strategy where appropriate empirical literature were reviewed to provide insights to the main themes on knowledge sharing among CoPs. The reviewed literature indicates that universities are not regular to allow for meaningful KS and socialization. Most universities lack a KS policy to front the process. Both personal and institutional motivators were found to encourage staff to share their knowledge among CoPs. These include monetary and non-monetary incentives. Numerous inhibitors to knowledge sharing were identified as: lack of time and inconsistent incentives. It is recommended that: universities increase the number of opportunities (both formal and informal) that will make it possible for members of academia to interact, share knowledge and socialize to enhance bonding relationships which help create trust critical for the formation of CoPs. The strategic approach to KS requires instituting the pre-requisite policy which is core in ensuring successful knowledge sharing among CoPs. Such a policy would have an impact on the motivation of staff and in supporting the development of a KS culture. Identified inhibitors should be mitigated by university managements to ensure effective knowledge sharing among CoPs. Generally, universities must provide a conducive working environment with both formal and informal meeting spaces in addition to an appropriate ICT infrastructure for ease of staff interaction.
Keywords: Knowledge Sharing, Communities of Practice, Public Universities & Kenya
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