The effectiveness of “Learning Exchange” as a tool for improving organizational effectiveness, through knowledge sharing, at Thomson Reuters.
Thomson Reuters is a global information company, headquartered in the Canada, and operates in 93 countries with over 50,000 staff (Thomson Reuters, 2009). Being a knowledge based organization, Reuters was having problems with the flow of knowledge amongst different departments across several countries. The purpose of this paper therefore is to evaluate the effectiveness of the newly introduced “Learning Exchange” intranet platform as a tool for increasing knowledge sharing, in an organization where employees perceive the knowledge they have as an “reward-enhancing-asset”, where rewards are awarded based on what you know and not what you share.
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This paper aims to draw on a number of peer-reviewed journals and articles regarding knowledge sharing as a whole, and more specifically in a reward based competitive culture. The literature would also include theories on pre and post integration strategies for Knowledge Sharing Intranet applications, directed at organizational environments where knowledge sharing or transfer, without a pay benefit, was not the norm. Primary data would include a case study analysis and possible telephone discussions with few staff, in order to ascertain the success of the intranet integration as a method of encouraging knowledge sharing in the organization. Were any pre or post integration processes put into place, and if so, how successful were they at convincing those who had the information to share it with those who did not?
Though my eventual findings are not certain, preliminary literature research clearly outlines that the success rate of any Knowledge Management Intranet system is based on the culture of the organization (Ruppel and Harrington, 2001), willingness of staff to accept the application (Goh, 2007), and integration strategies put into place that would encourage all stakeholders to use the intranet (Goh, 2007). These integration strategies may include training programs (before, during and after implementation), communication, and enforcement methods (e.g. restricting access to certain important information, except it is accessed through the knowledge-sharing portal).
Based on the preliminary research, I hope to find that the major barrier to the Intranet acceptance was the culture within the organization. I also hope to find that any success/failure recorded was largely dependent on the effectiveness of the integration process that management put into place.
My major limitations to this research would be negotiating access to the organization in order to discuss the effectiveness of the Intranet system as a method of improving organizational knowledge management. I also perceive limitations in the time limit within which I am required to submit this assignment, and also employee unwillingness to discuss a subjective issue regarding the culture within the organization and their perception of its knowledge-withholding reward based culture.
The practical implications of this research would be based on the findings of my survey. If the intranet has been ineffective, then the solutions for a more successful approach would be based on the literature review findings that concur with employee perception. However if it has been successful, it would help in developing an approach in which culturally similar organizations could build and implement Knowledge Sharing Intranet Solutions.
Originality/value of paper
The results of the finding, whatever implications it may have, would help to confirm whether existing literature accurately define the knowledge sharing culture within reward-based organizations. It would also aid in shedding a new light on integration processes that employees perceive as suitable, when designing and implementing Intranet solutions.
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- Thomson Reuters (2009) ABOUT US, www.thomsonreuters.com/about, (accessed10/10/2009)
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