The aim of the SKARP research project is to examine knowledge sharing in major Swedish companies. From a relational perspective, the project is exploring under what conditions knowledge is collectively developed, shared, and distributed in organizational practices.
The purpose of the study is to examine what practices, tools and mechanisms that are used in Swedish knowledge-intensive organizations to develop, share, and transfer knowledge. Rather than assuming that knowledge and other intellectual resources circulate per automata and of necessity in organizations, it is assumed that knowledge needs to be shared in specific and dedicated arenas.
Previous research conducted by the research team in the pharmaceutical industry Clinical Research Project at AstraZeneca show that so-called knowledge-facilitation workshops were appreciated and regarded useful by the participants. The research also showed that the workshop leaders (so-called knowledge facilitators) played a seminal role in creating an environment where in the participants trusted one another and could speak freely.
In addition, participants wanted a clear roadmap and a purpose with the workshops and wanted the knowledge facilitator to lead the workshops with a firm hand, yet allowing for discussions as they emerged en route. The ability to orchestrate such joint workshops or other events is of central importance for the long-term competitiveness and, ultimately, their survival, for knowledge-intensive firms.
Failing to institute workshops, arenas or other mechanisms providing opportunities for knowledge-sharing implies a substantial loss of know-how and experience. Therefore, organizational knowledge-sharing practices are of key importance for the collective and individual competencies of the workplace.
AstraZeneca Clinical, AstraZeneca Discovery, SKF, TetraPak and Wenell Management