CCE Theses and Dissertations

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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems (DISS)


Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences


Steven D Zink

Committee Member

Sumitra Mukherjee

Committee Member

Yair Levy


information, knowledge, knowledge management, knowledge sharing, value-focused thinking, values


Knowledge sharing has presented a challenge for organizations in the 21st century. Tangible organizational assets decrease in value when they are used while knowledge increases in value as they are used. Sharing knowledge has enabled organizations to obtain a competitive advantage. A large part of knowledge sharing research is technical in nature with limited consideration of the human and individual challenges that encompass each organization. This exploratory research presents an understanding of knowledge sharing in the terms of individual values of people in a closed information organization. The organizational entity that was studied is within the United States Federal Government. The research questions attempted to understand (1) what role individual values played towards maximizing knowledge sharing, and to identify what were the (2) fundamental, and (3) means objectives in a closed information environment organization. The goals were achieved by operationalizing the value-focused thinking methodology to identify fundamental objectives for knowledge sharing and means of achieving them in an organizational context. Data for the study was collected through in-depth interviews with organizational stakeholders about their values toward maximizing knowledge sharing. A comprehensive individual value hierarchy was created through 33 interviews of closed information environment organizational personnel. This resulted in a total of 141 individual values towards maximizing knowledge sharing in a closed information environment organization. Analysis of the data provided suggestions and objectives that were essential in knowledge sharing and the broader context of knowledge management. The validated fundamental and means objectives discovered for the closed information environment organization provide a theoretical foundation and value hierarchy for maximizing knowledge sharing. Understanding values of individual stakeholders enabled the creation of objectives that leveraged, but not solely depended upon technology, as the solution. A total of 10 fundamental and 14 means objectives were identified. The results provided a theoretical framework and value hierarchy for considering knowledge sharing in a manner that accounts for content and relational epistemological issues. Researchers and practitioners were presented with an understanding of knowledge sharing enablers in terms of the values of people from an organizational perspective.

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