Describe the problem(s) you want to address. You are encouraged to solicit feedback from your Learning Set members as well as the Doctoral Tutor on the nature of the problem(s) you have selected.
The problem I want to address is that of knowledge hoarding in our organization. Members in our investment team are not comfortable to share investment ideas that they may have. It has really affected the quality of investment ideas that our team raises. A certain member from our team may have an idea that he/she may feel is viable. However, he or she may not be willing to share this idea with other investment team members since he/she may fear being criticized by the other members. Knowledge hoarding has really affected our investment team. The level of teamwork between members of our team has become weak. This is because members of our team want to get individual credit for the investment ideas that they raise. Group coherence has reduced because of this since every member prefers to work alone in order for him/her to be on the safe side. I believe if I conduct a research in order to find out the factors that motivate the members of our team to hoard knowledge I will improve the culture of knowledge sharing in our investment team. This will improve the quality of investment decisions that our team raises.
How is your problem(s) relevant to other management practitioners and researchers?
The problem of knowledge hoarding that I identified is relevant to other practitioners in several ways. Knowledge hoarding is common in many professions. Medical scientists may not share knowledge regarding a particular breakthrough in their research since they may want to be personally associated with a particular scientific discovery. In addition, employees in a marketing department may not share certain marketing ideas since they may want to get credit for a particular successful advertisement. If all practitioners know ways of reducing knowledge hoarding in an organization, then they will improve teamwork in all the activities that they engage in. The practitioners should also offer their contributions on the issue of knowledge hoarding, as this will influence conclusions on the effects of knowledge hoarding on the activities of an organization (Kieser & Leiner, 2009). The problem is also relevant to other researchers since they will know whether my results are generalised compared to their previous research (Shadish and Cooke, 2011). In addition, they will know whether my study findings are relevant and reliable considering the method of study that I used and the methods of collecting data. It will also add new knowledge on the research concerning the effects of knowledge hoarding to the performance of an organization.
What are your expectations concerning each problem: do you expect to obtain knowledge that enables its resolution, or do you hope to gain greater understanding of its complexity?
My main expectation concerning the problem of knowledge hoarding is to obtain knowledge that enables its resolution. I plan to conduct a research using open questions concerning the main factors that contribute to knowledge hoarding in our organization. This is in an attempt of generating new ideas on this issue. After conducting personal interviews on all the employees in our team, I will get common ideas on the challenges that the employees experience while generating investment ideas. I will then use these challenges as a basis of obtaining ideas on the factors that motivate employees to hoard knowledge on investment ideas that seem viable. I will mainly use inductive research to generate knowledge for solving this problem. According to researchers, inductive research starts within a particular setting. It looks for patterns, ideas and themes within this setting (Easterby-Smith, Thorpe & Jackson, 2012). I will also use social constructivist paradigm to generate knowledge for solving the problem of knowledge hoarding. This paradigm does not seek generalisability in its results but concentrates in depth analysis of a particular concept.