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Abstract

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to show the way the human dimension influences the adoption and usage of the knowledge transfer in non-profit organizations (NGOs). Previous research on the topic focused mainly on the organizational and technical aspects (i.e. organizational culture, processes and technology), lacking a consistent approach of the human dimension. Therefore, this paper goes beyond the multiplying effect of the organizational and technical factors in the development of knowledge transfer and investigates the impact of human beliefs and actions on the practices of knowledge sharing in the NGOs. Design/methodology/approach This paper investigates the above-mentioned topics of the importance of the human aspect in the knowledge sharing adoption, and development of the NGOs by use of a cross-cultural study based on a questionnaire that conducted in Romania and Greece. Findings This study emphasizes the importance of the human dimension in the practice of the knowledge sharing of the non-profit organizations, proving that the adoption of such practices depends on the beliefs of the NGOs employees on the topic, and on their degree of exposure to international activities. Practical implications The results of this study provide valuable incentive to the managers of the non-profit organizations to pay more attention to the beliefs and values of their employees in adopting knowledge sharing practices. Originality/value This paper is valuable to the academics and practitioners in search of reliable data on the impact of the human dimension on the adoption and usage of knowledge management in the Third Sector, filling an existing gap of the literature on the topic.
Knowledge sharing in NGOs. The Human Dimension
Citation
Zbuchea, A., Ivan, L., Petropoulos, S. and Pinzaru, F. (2019), "Knowledge
sharing in NGOs: the importance of the human dimension", Kybernetes, Vol.
ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/K-04-2019-0260
Purpose             

      !"

          
#
# #
$
%"

#"$


Design/methodology/approach   "  $" 
 #
  "        $            $    
&'
Findings -  

#"

$#(

"
1. Introduction
)  *     
+"!
,    "          -#      $  
    $          "        $
#  " #   +# .//01 2# ./30
2#    $        4#  '    !    
*-" 
$ +"$"#
      $       #         #  

-$#              *    
  %      #  $          
$ 5  #"
 "  , #
"1$$
      "    ($      
$#
  (("# &
         "
6
#  " 
7      $            
              $      
$  +  " "       
      "  $      #    
     (    
8" 9"#"""
$
: $#  $  $  $$
#          "     (    
"        #   (
(""#
";$$<" 
#$#<$
$$"$$#
"$#%
$ 
"#    "  $          
""#
#"$"
     9 %#    
"$
#  $#  
$#  
)$#
    "   
  $"' #3=>?1@2
3==A#  $            $  "        
7# ! B# ./3A1 2   # ./3.# $ 9  .///# "
                 
 B   # .//C1 2  # .//01 D   #
.//0122#.//E 
!""
( , 
#          "      
                  
  2  F# ./3.1 '   # ./3C , 
$$"
7#BB#./3.17 #.//?12 #.//>1
2#B7#./3/1@7 #.//E1+#./3315#
./3/ ,  $  
"$"
  7    #  .//?1 @# @   7# ./3.1  !#
G   +$#  .//=1 @  ,#  .//>  "# 
"%$($
(       # " 
"%
5            H  5        
                  
%  H  2        "
$     %  
"H)"
    H  5        $"  
H  5              H  )
H
            $"  &  $  $      
&"'#
%    "#    %          
 G@"6"
%%G@"
$"'#":#./3?1'"#./3> 
2. Knowledge management in NGOs – the organizational framework
GG@#$#
    $  #      "    $    $    $
%" 7   "#  "  
G@ 
"$7
 #./3A *" $#
                
 $
$I$ #./3> 
)    "      "      #    
  " #
 G
      2    #  ./3.#  $     "
      $                  $
" 7  7# ./33 G  # #
        9    $ 
#$$#$" 5
 #      "#     
$#
   "   "    
 2
#"#
                
""" 
,"
 "    9     
  "      #    $"    (        #
"""$
$##
                  
I$B#./301I$ #./3>#./3E
9               H  ,       #
"$$
        2   #
./3. 
$  
$$"
"#                $
 "##
          $      
    4  4# ./3?1  2  2# ./30  :
#$
  #          
' #./30 
'J3K5$
H  9        %  $        
  (    (    %    
H
9$"#"
"%#$$"
$"  "       # 
$##
               
2 #./3.$ 
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+$
44# ./3?#  %  #
$"
 G$"
$ "   7 7#
./33  $#  
  #  $                 
     ,# "  
# "$
   "  "     
#"#$ ,
"   LM  
          #        "      
4#./3C
        #            #
"" #
##
%"  "  $ B# .//A "
               %          
++$#
./3E #
,"#GB#.//01'#.//= 
,$ 
          %"#    $      
2# ./3> F )9   2 * ./3.   
 $    $
8$"$ 
"$1$
      "#  $    1  ""      
1 " 1  1 #  
+   #$
##$
& 5"2
  .//0         
              #  $      
$ 
5                     
      %" 9   # 
      $    #    "        
$$;!#./3/ 9
"#
.//=  "                        
   "  $ "
"#
$ G
              $"      $  
  #       
   "# %"    
44#./301$ #./3A
G        ;      
 @7   # .//E !"    % 
    "          5  
        #    "      
+#./33 
                  
'#.//= 
    "           $    
            B    
      2     #  ./3.$  ,        
"
      '     #  ./3C  +    
$2 #./3. 
,      $            
      ,    
    "    7   #
./3A 
        
2#B7#./3/ 
  #              #      
      K    "  7#  2    5#
.//?1@,#.//>1 !   # .//=# 5 
:<#.//0# "$ 7   # .//?1 2   # .//> 
%  $                    
2#B7#./3/ 
2  #.//> 4
 4   # ./3E +   # 5   ./3/
                $"K
      #    #  "
#    "    6           
(
G         $        #  $
"
#                2#  B    7#  ./3/1
I$#!!#./3E
7    $"  #    "    "  
$
#$ 5
$"   $      9 #  
$$"$" 
 
'J.K5$$
$"$$"%
%H
4. Method
,$&$ .#
'  #  &   
K3
1  .    $        1  A  $"  
      &  $ 

"$""
$$"   
#;$$"
 :
0B#L3MNLML0MNLM#
 :
$ 0 G+4(
K L*   $"   $  
  M#      N >C1  
$"?G+4"(K
L"
MN E. 4$
                ;  K  #
##"#
 *  
  K          #    $  
#    $    "#  ;         
" 
)        )$  ./3E    @  ./3=      
&  $        
#" 5
>.'#"#CC
5. Sample structure
9$ '  

 & , #  $ 
E/O                #    
  7*#                    ("
K        #          
 9 '      $ 
8" "3 30//@NC#
@NC3#+)N.//#3?//@N?#@NCE#
+)N3CE 5$PNC
QC 7
#$"
  #                $      
" $ "#     
(#%
"      $ 3      
            "    #    
'"
5                $    "    $
K' " 
@R'N./1+)NA./1@RNA/1+)N3C> 
  $    $                  '    

,#&#$
 5
   $ S G%;  N / EC  "
$3 5$"T#"
#""$#8
      '  #              
L8M ,#'
    L  M#  $
L8M##
$  $    L  8M#    $  L"       
"$ M      "   $ 
"'#%"
%$

Table 1. '
N33?
# of NGOs Romania Greece Total
# % # % # %
B 0E E/O A0 E/O =A E/O
*(" 3C ./O = ./O .A ./O
$
QC A0 CEO .> ?3O ?. 0AO
$
PNC A> 0.O 3> A=O 0C C>O
QN./D C. 0EO .3 C>O ?A 0CO
P./D A/ C.O .A 0AO 0A C?O
Domain: T .E A=O 0 33 0O AA .EO
Domain: "
 > 3/O . C 0O = EO
Domain:"
"$ 3. 3>O 3A .= 0O .0 .3 0O
Domain:
8 .. A/O .C 0C 0O C? C/O
Domain: 8 A CO / /O A . 0O
Total 72 62.1% 44 37.9% 116 100%
6. Results
6.1. The importance of knowledge in NGOs from Romania and Greece
'   0  B  $
K31.
1  A  1  C  1  0  1  ?  
$#&1> " #S    $.
($"
 ; K     6 $  
$"$
(%$%"
"K$"
#     $  # 33C N A?#
P /31"#33CN A0#P /3 ,#"
  #                "  
33CN CC#P /3##33CN .=#P /3 
  "      "  $     "        
##33CN ?3#P /3#$#33C
N C=#P /3"#33CN A>#P /3
%"$"
$'
Table 2 7(K"%
;















"




$



$

"

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
.AU 30 .AU .AU
A?U
U
A0UU /A /C /C


.>UU CCU .=UU /= /= /0 /. /?
9 ?3UU C=UU AAU A>UU //C /. /A
G 0EUU .AU 3E  /3  /= /3
 .>U 3> /= /. /E
 >AUU 3> 3?  /3
9" 3/ 3A /A

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
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$
"
*Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed); **Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed)
$ .     $ "  %
           $            
$          $    "  5      
                  $    
33C N >?# P /3# $   $ " : 
              "      $  
$$"#33CN ./#N /.?P /0
        %  $        
                "      $"#  
,D,# 9
#%$#:
33?#EN. E=#N /A=$A
Table 3.55,D,4+$<*% :K'
" '
)D$K2
+ 999+
+&
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+&
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+&
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9 E=3 3.C 3 E=3 3.C 30.. AC
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 '+&N 33E,<'+&N /0.
Figure 1 !%$

!#'#8
  $  "      #  #    #      "
"8
5%
(      #  $            $  
#*""
$       V NA AC#   33.# 3  N3? A3# P //3  !#
'"'
  "  *-  "#          "    
'&N 3.#:N30 AE#P //3
"%K:330#C
N. ?E#N /A0#$$:.
Figure 2.!%$

4'"$
       "  #    $  8  !
          8      '   
$   "    5  
#
"$#"*"
   V N  A C0#  33.# 3 N.. .>#  P //3   
 "   
    "  ' & N 30# : N3= >0#
P //3
6.2. Employees’ beliefs and behaviors regarding knowledge sharing
$@#G+4"0
G+4"?%
   ' 5 
$?=N 0A#P //3'CC
N ?C# P //3  6              $

 $" 5   %    G 
$$"
%:A:C
Figure 3.!%$#
G4"
Figure 4.!%$#
G4"
'
$;$ ,#"
"#
   $    3/> N A3# N //3      
  $" $   3/> N ..# N /.P /0   
6($$"
                &#          

7. Conclusions and further research
    
G@
 
                $"    $"  
 
" @  $"  #
                $    
 #$    

 
              
  ,##
# #  #    "      +#
" +%$
          "  "  $    $"  
    "              
    "     
$($""#
$"#
"$"
8 :#&"#
              
 5$"$
 
     $ K "  
      LM        "    
#"LM6
         B   "
#$$$$
" *"
  #        "        
   +   
" 
        $          '    
$"$ 
#(
#$#
 
References
,"#@ #G# ' B#) * .//0#L,(
M#
#D .. A# 3=3..C
4#5 7 ##F 5 G# ./3E#LD<
K,"
M##D 3. 3# .>EA3>#
"$
K88$  8$88./3E8/C84GRG
<R!! 
4#' 7 ./3A#L2M#
#D . C# E>=0 
4#B 4#+ ./3?L4
KM##D ./ 3# 3.0
3C0
4#7 4#* ./30#LGK,
M#@#@ #,  #
 !"#,
7!$9#'#@,# 3?=3>>
7# #B#G #B#@ ./3.#LGK#
M##D 3? 0# 
>C/>0A
7#7 @ #2#@ 2 #5#*   .//?#L-
"K,
"M##""#D C. A# 3E>.3EEE
7#, #!#' B#+ ./3AL)
HKM##
D A? A# 3>=3EE
7#7 7#' + ./33#LGK,
$M $#D 
33 .# .
)#F 9 9 *# 2 ./3.#L
"K!"M#
%#D C 3# ??>0 
#+ F .//=##&""' +
$#G ' #@#F #@#* #7 ./3A#LG
"M#
#D ./ A# 33A3..
2#+ + F#+ @ ./3.#L4K
*""
4M#(#D . .# 3A030/
2#, ./30L7"+K75M#9F 
7#, 2) , +
)*$&!"#BK'# =
.>
2#7 2#@ .//E#L
M#+"',
-#D 3A .# 3.=3C/
2#7 2#@ ./30#L
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-#D .> 3# .AC>
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K$G@M#
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M#
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+9!D7K,9"@ X
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# 3C=.30/0
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#D ? 3# 33/
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&(M#
#D .. .# >>3/3
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!#7 5 #G#, +$#' .//=#X-$+$
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2#D 3/ 3/# >.36>C>
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3# 3= 
'# #*#*  #@ ./3C#LG
"K<(M#
1#D 3. C# A03A?3
'#) #"#B #:#* ./3C#L9
K"!M#
#D 3E 0# E?>EE0
'#) #"#B @ :#* ./3?#LG
K"$M#
#D ./ 3# .ACE
'#) "#B @ ./3>#L;
K"M#
4D .3 C# >3E>C/
'# ##, B#7 ./30#L2*+
G)@K,7+!+M#
!"$#+$#,
79B#'#@,# ?C.?CE
+#), .//0#L!"""
""+*M#!"
%-#D 0 .# .CA.0?
+#+ 4 +$#9 , ./3E#L77",
'M#,89+2*,+"'
#D .= 0# 3/E/3/=>
#F  +#+ ./33#L,((
$"K"M##D 
30 3# 3/C33>
D#F #+(#! #G$#7 B#! .//0#LG
@"K,!:M#
:$!"
;$!.//<=#@.C.E#@#:B
5#+ #' , ./3/#XGK,"
X#11&4D ./ .# 330
3A3
5#@ @ :<#+ .//0#L59H*(
$M#
>#D .= 3# A00>
I$#, B#' ./30#LG$
M#$4&!""*
-?6## 3>3?3>.>#"$
K88  88,(RI$8$8.>EA>C/
CCRGRR$RRR8800>=C/E
E>?C//8G$ 
I$#, #!#+ !#4 ./3>#LG@
!M#4  #
./:??@7##
4# C?>C>0#"$
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... Such organizations are assisting unfavorable classes in social matters. These social issues have been aggravated due to financial crises and refugee calamities (Zbuchea et al., 2019). In the recent years, Portugal was also affected by economic and financial crises, forest fires and more recently the covid19 pandemic. ...
... However, human resources are extremely moveable, as organizations do not have the capacity to offer long-term contracts (for those who are not volunteers), which leads to job uncertainty and consequently knowledge loss. Concerning the external environment, some non-profit organizations face difficulties to recruit volunteers as funding opportunities are sometimes scarce or very bureaucratic to obtain and government policies not always include all non-profit organizations (Banks et al., 2015;Zbuchea et al., 2019). ...
... The operations of non-profit organizations need to incorporate the knowledge produced each day in the field. This tacit knowledge is an asset that is not easily found in other types of organizations, such as state services or companies (Zbuchea et al., 2019). ...
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This paper aims to elaborate a diagnosis and performance matrix concerted on the increment of human capital value by sharing tacit knowledge in non-profit organizations. The following objectives were defined: determine which indicators of tacit knowledge sharing are appliable; determine the measures to be implemented, aiming the augmentation of tacit knowledge sharing and learning organizational. Interviews were conducted with the commanders of volunteer fire brigades in Portugal. It was possible to create a diagnosis and performance matrix to increase the tacit knowledge sharing in these organizations. The application of this matrix improves the tacit knowledge sharing and consequently increases the human capital value. The option of a multiple case research of organizations such as voluntary fire brigades is unique in its action and identity, enabling such organizations with competencies to improve their performance with the purpose of mitigating tragic circumstances that may lead to the loss of human lives.
... KM requires that the organisation sets up a set of activities and processes to make the information available to everyone in the organisation (Torres et al., 2016). Given that NGO's usually face high turnover rates and they experience informal knowledge sharing (KS) (Huck et al., 2011;Pereira et al., 2013;Vidal & Menezes, 2014), NGOs have loyal personnel even though it is not easy for NGOs to offer long-term contracts (Zbuchea et al., 2020). ...
... The literature refers to NGOs' resource scarcity (both tangible and intangible), however, little attention has been paid to the specific resources related to "knowledge" (Corfield et al., 2013;Maalaoui et al., 2020). Knowledge is very important for the NGOs (Zbuchea et al., 2020). Thus, KM has been gaining popularity in NGOs since the 1990s as a way to modernise management (Corfield et al., 2013). ...
... KS is a highly required organisational behaviour with impact on the organisation's survival and growth (Hasmath & Hsu, 2020); therefore, NGOs require successful KM (Zbuchea et al., 2020). This study examines knowledge sharing (KS) in Portuguese NGOs by addressing the organisational culture variables that affect it. ...
Article
Knowledge sharing (KS) is a challenge for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) given its high turnover and the informal nature of KS. We examine KS in Portuguese NGOs by adopting the three levels of Schein’s theory of organisational culture: artefacts, norms/values, and basic assumptions. We test the influence of the three variables we propose to be proxies of the three levels: internal communication, ethical climate, and altruism. This study’s objective is to a) ascertain whether the different levels are correlated with each other, and b) to understand the effects of organisational variables on KS. We found evidence to sustain the correlation among the three levels showing that Schein’s theory is supported in the NGO’s. Our findings confirm that an ethical climate and altruism have a positive impact on KS. However, the analysis fails to support the influence of internal communication. Altogether, we conclude that organisational culture positively impacts KS at NGOs.
... Being a good strategic partner in two-way KT, non-government organizations (NGOs) have played significant roles of catering for ongoing and ever-changing needs of local communities in flexible mode, creating innovative collaboration projects for diverse needs of schools and social service centers, providing realistic startup and meaningful youngsters internship opportunities through project collaboration, maintaining regular business relationships with technology vendors and social worker partners and connecting learning, course materials and learning tools with real industry. In some circumstances, NGOs perform more flexibly and earn more freedom for collaborators to explore than formal education partners in the perspectives of industry entrepreneurs and students in the aforementioned action projects (Institute for Social Innovation, 2022; Zbuchea et al., 2019). ...
Conference Paper
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This paper presents an innovative metaverse design through collaborations among university academics, industry entrepreneurs, NGOs and students through a two-way knowledge transfer (KT) model. Unlike previous one-way KT approaches, this paper endeavors to formulate an interactive two-way KT conceptual model with evaluation of creative technological products, entrepreneur coaching programs and social caring services through (Arts/Green/Sports) STEM and IoT Metaverses. In the top layer of the KT model, one gigantic integrative network of academics, scientists and creative technologists work as a big data pool to provide high-tech professional knowledge. In the lower layers, collaborations among university academics, technology developers, industry entrepreneurs, NGOs and students work out knowledge-building community-of-practices using youth entrepreneur leadership models to develop technological products and provide services. For sustainability of knowledge transfer, educational / social funds will be used to support student activities financially. Participating young entrepreneurs care the elderly and disadvantaged people and develop their moral conscience during some STEM activities in empathic societies. Noteworthy, this paper presents five key features of decentralization, immersive properties, digital currency ecosystems (using blockchain technology), social experiences and persistency in the construction of met connecting real and virtual worlds. It also shows valuable learning experiences of participating students in STEM, game-based learning and IoT metaverses to testify the feasibility of knowledge transfer. Future research agendas in knowledge transfer in metaverses and contextual challenges will be addressed through action project reflection in the paper.
... Effective knowledge sharing is contingent on individuals' willingness to pass along their knowledge instead of hoarding it and is likely to be motivated in a way similar to prosocial behavior, which is challenging to achieve through pressure or rewards (Babi c et al., 2019;Graham et al., 2019). Employees can only be encouraged, enabled and motivated to engage in knowledge exchange with colleagues (Zbuchea et al., 2019). Although the culture, organizational prerequisites and technology play a vital role in employees' knowledgesharing behaviors, many motivational drivers are concerned with human factors (Ghobadi and Mathiassen, 2016;Nadason et al., 2017;Yang et al., 2019). ...
Article
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Intraorganizational knowledge and information sharing are important steps toward more-accessible organizational knowledge. The aim of this study is to qualitatively explore factors that contribute to employees' motivations for sustaining intraorganizational knowledge-sharing behaviors and to examine the impact of these factors in a quantitative study with the Austrian Federal Ministry of Defense. This ministry faces a retirement wave in the next 5-10 years. Intraorganizational knowledge sharing before, during, and following this wave will play a decisive role for the organization in the near future. // An exploratory sequential mixed-methods study was conducted. The study design involved a qualitative study phase with expert interviews and stakeholder workshops (n=9) and a quantitative study phase based on a cross-sectional online survey with an implicit association test on intraorganizational knowledge sharing (n=59). // In the qualitative study phase, three main research topics regarding intraorganizational knowledge sharing were identified: employee attitude, organizational support, and specific relational aspects of knowledge transfer, such as reciprocal relationships among employees and opportunities for knowledge exchange. A hierarchical multiple regression analysis revealed that perceived organizational support was the only factor that was a significant predictor of motivation for engaging in knowledge sharing. We also analyzed the data for moderation effects and demonstrated that sociopsychological factors (e.g., the engagement or openness of colleagues to share their knowledge) further strengthened the positive relationship between employees' perceived support and personal willingness to share knowledge. // We conclude that an organizational culture that supports knowledge sharing within the organization is highly relevant for motivating employees to share their knowledge. Practitioners will also benefit from the insights of the various dimensions of employees' willingness to engage in knowledge-sharing behaviors to better design further interventions in organizations. // In accordance with an exploratory sequential mixed-methods approach, we followed a transdisciplinary process in which scientific and practical experiences and knowledge were integrated. For this Intraorgani-zational knowledge sharing purpose, interviews and workshops with experts and stakeholders in the organization were conducted. The qualitative findings were incorporated into a quantitative survey and an implicit association test for the employees of the organization. This approach demonstrates a different and more holistic approach to analyzing a real-world problem in the context of a governmental agency in order to investigate the multidimensional and complex topic of intraorganizational knowledge sharing.
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A large number of studies have been conducted on the information behaviour and needs of vulnerable groups, especially victims of family violence during (quasi)emergencies and the role of NGOs in providing assistance to their users. Still, in the Republic of Croatia, it is an unexplored area. The lack of research was the reason for conducting a broader study in the Republic of Croatia that would enable a deeper understanding of the described topic. The aim of this study is to fill the gap on the role of NGOs in providing the necessary information to their users in order to identify the best ways and communication channels through which victims who have experienced family violence can access the necessary information in everyday life. The purpose of this study is to investigate the problems encountered by employees of NGOs in accessing and using information from the immediate environment during COVID-19, especially relevant information for preserving and protecting the rights of persons exposed to family violence and potentially other vulnerable groups. Efforts are being made to investigate the experiences and knowledge of NGO professionals regarding the violent victimisation of their users and COVID-19 as a potential criminogenic factor in the occurrence of family violence. A qualitative focus group method was used in the research. Focus groups were conducted from September 2020 to December 2021 in five different cities among NGO employees dealing with the protection of victims of family violence. Given the lack of research on the topic, the research results contribute to the theoretical and practical reflection on the role of NGOs in providing the necessary information to its users at the national and international levels. In the scientific sense, the conducted research opens the way for further research and increases awareness of this topic in the community.
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With limited studies on antecedents and consequences of work engagement with special reference to NGOs, two novel antecedents of work engagement, namely workload (job demand) and proactive personality (personal resource) are introduced in the study. By drawing on the revised JD-R model, the study empirically examines the indirect effects of job demands, job resources, personal resources, and ideological resources on organizational outcomes, i.e. intention to quit and organizational citizenship behaviour through work engagement in NGOs. The data collected from paid employees of registered NGOs operating in India were analysed using structural equation modelling. The study reveals that workload does not decrease employees' work engagement in NGOs. Whereas employment insecurity was negatively associated with work engagement. Besides, transformational leadership, intrinsic rewards, community service self-efficacy, proactive personality, and public service motivation played a vital role in fostering work engagement in NGOs. Furthermore, work engagement was negatively associated with the intention to quit and positively associated with organizational citizenship behaviour.
Article
Purpose Using an institutionalist lens, this study aims to identify factors that influence the knowledge sharing behaviour of volunteers engaged in collaborative, cross-cultural and project-focussed development work. Design/methodology/approach Following an inductive research design, the authors conducted a thematic analysis of interviews with volunteers to explore the practicalities of knowledge sharing in the context of development aid projects and to examine contributing factors, such as personality, motivations, experience and variations in team members’ understanding of the nature and objective of projects. Findings Through exploring the experiences of volunteers working on cross-cultural development aid programmes, the authors identify and discuss the ways in which the preparation of volunteers and the structuring of project work is shaped by managerialist modes of thinking, with an emphasis on the creation of an environment that is conducive to sustainable knowledge sharing practices for all stakeholders involved. Originality/value The examination of volunteer development work tendency towards institutional isomorphism is a novel contribution intersecting the areas of knowledge sharing in the project, volunteer-led and culturally diverse environments.
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Purpose – This paper aims to present findings from a study of non-profit organizations (NPOs), including a model of knowledge needs that can be applied by practitioners and scholars to further develop the NPO sector. Design/methodology/approach – A survey was conducted with NPOs operating in Canada and Australia. An analysis of survey responses identified the different types of knowledge essential for each organization. Respondents identified the importance of three pre-determined themes (quantitative data) related to knowledge needs, as well as a fourth option, which was a free text box (qualitative data). The quantitative and qualitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistical analyses and a grounded theory approach, respectively. Findings – Analysis of the quantitative data indicates that NPOs ' needs are comparable in both countries. Analysis of qualitative data identified five major categories and multiple sub-categories representing the types of knowledge needs of NPOs. Major categories are knowledge about management and organizational practices, knowledge about resources, community knowledge, sectoral knowledge and situated knowledge. The paper discusses the results using semantic proximity and presents an emergent, evidence-based knowledge management (KM)-NPO model. Originality/value – The findings contribute to the growing body of literature in the KM domain, and in the understudied research domain related to the knowledge needs and experiences of NPOs. NPOs will find the identified categories and sub-categories useful to undertake KM initiatives within their individual organizations. The study is also unique, as it includes data from two countries, Canada and Australia.
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Australian not-for-profit (NFP) organizations are knowledge-intensive enterprises, but most struggle with knowledge management (KM), while at the same time identifying it as an increasingly important activity they must improve for an increasingly competitive and demanding environment. Replicating “corporate” best KM practices is often misaligned with NFPs’ unique cultures, finances, operations, and missions. This article advances previous work presented in this journal and highlights the importance of internal management practices as vital for success. This article draws from NFP research in knowledge and explores a key enabler (internal marketing) that has been overlooked for building a critical link between NFP staff/volunteers and the organization for building and sustaining KM in an NFP environment. Using in-depth interviewing (32 interviews) and an online survey (179 respondents), this article examines the elements of internal marketing’s benefit/value propositions to staff and the importance of personal relevance. Further, the article also explores the value of socialization strategies (such as communities of practice) as effective internal marketing channels.
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Purpose – This paper aims first to identify key interorganisational partnership types among non-profit organisations (NPOs) and second to determine how knowledge sharing takes place within each type of partnership. Results explore the value of social media specifically in facilitating external relationships between NPOs, firms and the communities they serve. Design/methodology/approach – Empirical qualitative analysis of exploratory interviews with 16 Canadian NPOs generates a non-exhaustive classification of partnership types emerging from these organisations, and their defining characteristics in the context of interorganisational knowledge sharing. Findings – Overall eight categories of partnerships from the sampled NPOs emerged from the analysis of the data. These include business partnerships, sector partnerships, community partnerships, government partnerships, expert partnerships, endorsement partnerships, charter partnerships and hybrid partnerships. Using examples from interviews, the sharing of knowledge within each of these partnerships is defined uniquely in terms of directionality (i.e. uni-directional, bi-directional, multi-directional knowledge sharing) and formality (i.e. informal, semi-formal or formal knowledge sharing).Specific practices within these relationships also arise from examples, in particular, the use of social media to support informal and community-driven collaborations. Twitter, as a popular social networking tool, emerges as a preferred medium that supports interorganisational partnerships relevant to NPOs. Originality/value – This research is valuable in identifying the knowledge management practices unique to NPOs. By examining and discussing specific examples of partnerships encountered among NPOs, this paper contributes original findings about the implications of interorganisational knowledge sharing, as well as the impact of emerging social technologies on same.
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By now, the becoming business-like of nonprofit organizations (NPOs) is a well-established global phenomenon that has received ever-growing attention from management and organization studies. However, the field remains hard to grasp in its entirety, as researchers use a multitude of similar, yet distinct, key concepts. The considerable range and complexity of these overlapping notions create major challenges: Scholars struggle to position their work in a larger context; it is not easy to build on previous findings and methodological developments; and research gaps are difficult to identify. The present article presents the first systematic literature review to confront those challenges by reviewing 599 relevant sources. In a first step, various key concepts are clarified. Second, the field is mapped according to three research foci: causes of NPOs becoming business-like, organizational structures and processes of becoming business-like, and effects of becoming business-like. From this, we draw conclusions and make suggestions for further research.
Article
Over the past three decades, scholars have increasingly come to view knowledge as one of the most important resources necessary for successful organization in the contemporary socioeconomic landscape. In our vigor to understand how organizations may harness the diverse knowledge available to them, however, we have produced a disparity in our theories of knowledge management (KM) processes. By reviewing 20 years of influential KM literature, we uncover a bias toward explaining knowledge integration over research exploring processes of knowledge differentiation. Through our review, we explain why such a pattern has emerged and build an argument for why understanding differentiation is an increasingly important charge for management and organizational scholars. We then advance three strategic directions for future KM scholarship, based on the notion that recognizing multiple knowledge trajectories can aid in addressing several significant lines of theorizing in management and organization studies.
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The organizational culture of nonprofit organizations is affected by the context in which they are embedded. Based on a qualitative study of local civic associations in Novosibirsk, Russia, this article illustrates how nonprofit organizational culture has been shaped by historical and contemporary social and cultural conditions. The fluid situation for civil society in Russia has generated varied organizational culture across nonprofits. Interview data reveal different value orientations, distinct group identities, and different images of the ideal civic association: as a social establishment, as an outlet for self-expression, as a network of experts, or as a social startup. This resulting diversity of organizational culture has implications for the potential for partnerships among nonprofits, between nonprofits and government, between nonprofits and businesses, and also for the organizational survival of nonprofits in this setting.
Article
Purpose This paper aims to present findings from a study conducted with non-profit organizations (NPOs) in Canada and Australia, focusing on the use of tools and technologies for knowledge management (KM). NPOs of different sizes and operating in different sectors were studied in two large-scale national surveys. The paper is useful to both practitioners in NPOs for understanding tool use for KM activities and to scholars to further develop the KM-NPO domain. Design/methodology/approach Two nation-wide surveys were conducted with Canadian and Australian NPOs of different sizes (i.e. very small to large-sized organizations) and operating in different sectors (e.g. animal welfare, education and research, culture and arts). An analysis of responses explores the use of tools and technologies by NPOs. Respondents identified the tools and technologies they used from nine pre-determined themes (quantitative data) plus an additional category of “other tools” (qualitative data), which allowed for free text responses. The quantitative data were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistical techniques and the qualitative data were analyzed using a thematic analysis approach. Findings Quantitative data analysis provides key findings including the popularity of physical, print documents across all NPO sizes and sectors. Statistical tests revealed, for example, there is no significant difference for the same-sized organizations in Canadian and Australian NPOs in the use of tools and technologies for KM activities. However, there were differences in the use of tools and technologies across different sizes of NPOs. The qualitative analysis revealed a number of additional tools and technologies and also provided contextual details about the nature of tool use. The paper provides specific examples of the types of tools and technologies NPOs use. Originality/value The paper has both practical and academic contributions, including areas for future research. The findings on the use of KM tools and technologies by NPOs contribute to the growing body of literature in the KM domain in general and also build the literature base for the understudied KM-NPO domain. NPOs will also find the paper useful in better understanding tools and technological implementation for KM activities. The study is unique not only in the content focus on KM for NPOs but also for the comparative study of activities in two countries.
Article
Purpose: This paper aims to build on existing theory of knowledge sharing barriers (KSBs) by exploring the concept in the relatively under-researched context of social service not-for-profit organisations. Design/methodology/approach: In this study, case study methodology was used. Practitioner staff members took part in online questionnaires, followed by semi-structured interviews with line management and middle management staff. Secondary sources from the case study organisation were also used in the analysis. The analysis of questionnaire responses alongside responses from semi-structured interviews is compared with extant research into KSBs. Findings: The findings of this study highlight the need to re-examine the KSBs identified in the literature to reflect contexts beyond the private sector. Common barriers were identified, but some found in the case study organisation did not neatly fit into the existing definitions of KSBs. An updated list of KSBs to reflect this social service not-for-profit context is presented. Research limitations/implications: Case studies are often not generalisable; however, the KSB list developed here could be further explored and tested in other third sector organisations. Practical implications: The research raises the question of applicability of current knowledge management (KM) theory and lexicon in the third sector and social care environment. Originality/value: This study provides an insight into KM applicability in a third sector context, which is a relatively under-developed research area. Keywords: Case studies, Barriers, Knowledge management, Knowledge sharing, Non-profit organisations, Third sector Paper type: Case study
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present a holistic approach regarding evaluation of knowledge management (KM) practices on organizational performance. The effects of seven critical success factors (CSFs), namely leadership role, organizational culture, KM strategy, processes and activities, training and education, information technology, and motivation and rewarding system, on organizational performance in the framework of four perspectives of balance scored card (BSC) approach were surveyed. Design/methodology/approach – The research hypotheses were raised based on the four perspectives of this approach, namely, growth and learning, internal processes, customer and financial. By literature review, CSFs of KM and organizational performance along with their items were identified in the framework of BSC’s perspectives. Based on these constructs and their items an instrument was designed and distributed among managers and employees of the subsidiary firms of Iran National Petrochemical Company (INPC). Reliability of the instrument was calculated by Chronbach’s α for the two sections of the instrument i.e. KM practices and organizational performance. Also, using factor analysis the construct validity of the questionnaire was approved. Finally, based on the hypotheses of the study and using structural equation modeling the impacts of KM practices on organizational performance were investigated. Findings – The results revealed that KM practices positively and meaningfully (though weak) impact overall organizational performance. This impact is significant only regarding growth and learning dimension and on the other dimensions is insignificant. Also, as customer and financial constructs were loaded on one factor based on the entity of their indicators we considered these two constructs as stakeholders construct. In addition, among the above mentioned seven CSFs, motivation and rewarding system obtained the lowest rank among the survey organizations. Research limitations/implications – The sample is restricted to only three companies, so gathering data from various parts of Iran including both manufacturing and service industries could increase the generalizability of the results obtained. Also, as in this study the data gathered were cross-sectional, a longitudinal study could help gain deeper understanding of the cause-and-effect relationship among the variables. Originality/value – The most significant gap in the literature is the lack of enough application of statistical and comprehensive methods like BSC that KM makes a difference to organizational performance. This study contributes to the field of KM by empirically investigating the impact of KM practices on various measures of organizational performance in order to prove the suitability of a comprehensive approach like BSC.
Article
Purpose This paper's aim is to examine the influence of perceived cost of sharing knowledge and affective trust in colleagues on the relationship between affective commitment and knowledge sharing. Design/methodology/approach The methodology used was a survey of 496 employees from 15 organizations across ten industries. Findings Affective trust in colleagues moderates the relationship between affective commitment and knowledge sharing and the relationship between cost of knowledge sharing and knowledge sharing. Research limitations/implications Future researchers should operationalize the perceived cost of knowledge sharing construct to include other potential group barriers; for instance, politics and organizational barriers, management commitment and lack of trust. Practical implications The findings of this study suggest that employees who value social relationships and social resources tend to view knowledge as a collectively owned commodity. As such, their knowledge sharing behavior reflects the model of reciprocal social exchanges. Social implications The results of this study indicate that an organizational culture that encourages affect‐based trust between colleagues will facilitate knowledge sharing. Originality/value The paper bridges the gap between the literature on knowledge sharing, perceived cost of knowledge sharing, affective organizational commitment and trust in a single model.