Published : 2020-09-29

Determinants of the knowledge diffusion process among professionals in the IT sector

Section: Articles


Today, knowledge has become dominant, creating a new dimension of the economy, a new society and a new employee. Knowledge workers have emerged as the core of a modern organisation’s staff, and their job is to convert information into knowledge. The process of diffusion of these key organisational players’ knowledge is critical, as it determines its availability to other employees. Both the character and importance of specialist knowledge diffusion require a detailed analysis of the process. Therefore, the main research goal of the study is to determine the conditions for this process in the IT sector. The method of triangulation was selected for this research. The procedure for obtaining empirical data consisted of three stages – direct semi-structured individual interviews, focus group online interviews (FIGO), a computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI) and a computer-assisted web interview (CAWI-based DYI). Then, Spearman’s rank-order correlation coefficient was used. It was found that knowledge workers are most likely to participate in the diffusion of high-context, personalised and tacit knowledge. Knowledge sharing is the subprocess of knowledge transfer, most conservatively approached by professionals who fear the uncontrolled transmission of their specific knowledge. Closed and conservative attitudes were clearly observed in the transmission of knowledge between staff (employees other than knowledge-workers) and stakeholders. They suggest the targeted or intuitive use of knowledge protection strategies, especially in inter-organisational cooperation relationships. The considerations presented contribute theoretically and practically to the diffusion of professional knowledge. They set a framework for designing the knowledge dispersion management subsystem as the chief element of the overall organisational knowledge management system, due to the subprocesses constituting knowledge transfer, the type of knowledge exchanged, and the group of knowledge agents involved in its circulation. Identifying critical conditions that support the knowledge diffusion of professionals could help practitioners create an effective system of knowledge transfer that meets knowledge workers’ requirements and stimulates the flow of the preferred types of knowledge in the planned and desired directions among selected groups of knowledge agents.


knowledge diffusion ; knowledge worker ; empirical study ; IT sector

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