An exploraratory study of factors affecting usage of information technology in support of knowledge sharing in service organizations in Hong Kong

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

An exploraratory study of factors affecting usage of information technology in support of knowledge sharing in service organizations in Hong Kong

 

Author: Chow, Ngai-keung
Title: An exploraratory study of factors affecting usage of information technology in support of knowledge sharing in service organizations in Hong Kong
Degree: D.B.A.
Year: 2008
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Knowledge management -- China -- Hong Kong.
Information technology -- China -- Hong Kong.
Service industries -- China -- Hong Kong -- Technological innovations.
Department: Graduate School of Business
Pages: 342 leaves : col. ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2266067
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/4497
Abstract: In the context of service organizations in Hong Kong, this thesis aims to explore key factors affecting the use of IT tools in support of knowledge sharing, assess their relative importance, compare usage of various IT tools for knowledge sharing, find out difference between senior managers and middle /junior staff in their usage of specific IT tools for knowledge sharing, examine how far past research findings and extant theories can apply in Hong Kong society and suggest areas for improvement. Hitherto research focuses mainly on whether and how individual factors affect use of IT in support of knowledge sharing. There is no research on whether and how an array of factors affects the use of IT in support of knowledge sharing among different levels in the organization hierarchy and how various factors depend on one another. This research addresses the questions on what key factors are influencing usage patterns of IT in support of knowledge sharing in service organizations in Hong Kong, how these factors affect usage of IT tools at different levels of the organizational hierarchy, to what extent this study validates past research findings and extant theories and how Hong Kong firms can maximize the use of IT in support of knowledge sharing to increase competitive advantage, taking into account such factors. Using an analytical framework on knowledge sharing with the use of IT tools, interviews based on case study approach are conducted for five companies of varying sizes and industries. This research takes an induction approach and adopts an outsider's objective views in the methodology for data collection. To facilitate data analysis, patterns are matched; usage and importance scores are tabulated; and evidence is viewed through multiple lenses in order to examine similarities and differences within groups and across groups and to generalize explanations where applicable. In this study, it is found that an array of factors conspire to influence the usage patterns of IT tools in the form of enablers and / or barriers for knowledge sharing with varying importance. This study contributes to theory and practice by evaluating inter-relationships between multiple factors and the usage of IT tools in support of knowledge sharing. The research supports some of the extant theories on knowledge management. Building upon existing knowledge management frameworks, the study comes up with a revised framework for use by researchers as a basis for further study as well as by practitioners as a guide to induce higher usage of IT tools for knowledge creation in service organizations.

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