In recent decades, the importance of knowledge management to an organization has been recognized by the society, and leaders are more likely to introduce it into the management systems of their organizations, yet Wang and Noe (2010) claimed that the success of knowledge management initially depended on knowledge sharing, which was the fundamental of communication between employees. Hence, these questions will be aroused that what can influence knowledge sharing and how it can be influenced. This paper will have a comparative review of two published studies, which are Knowledge sharing in a multi-cultural setting: a case study (Ford & Chan, 2003) and Knowledge sharing and team trustworthiness: it’s all about social ties! (Wang et al., 2006), both authors have answered the questions ahead on the basis of their studies.
But while both of them give us explicit conclusions and generally support that knowledge sharing has a connection with social relationship, there are clear differences in the approach each takes to the study. Dr. Dianne P. Ford, who has published in the Handbook on Knowledge Management, illustrates a result that cross-cultural difference is an obstacle to share knowledge and there is a slight difference between intra-cultural knowledge sharing and inter-cultural knowledge sharing using case study and data analysis. (Ford & Chan, 2003) Dr. Wang and his colleagues seem to be more interested in the relationship between knowledge sharing and trust. They use the same methodology with Dr. Ford in the course of research to claim that trust plays an important role in knowledge sharing, but it also can be substituted by social tie and network in some specific context. (Wang et al., 2006)
This paper is organized as follows. The second section presents the discussions of Ford and Chan’s research and Wang et al.’s research respectively. It concludes that while some of their arguments cannot satisfy me, both of the two groups of authors nevertheless have done original and valuable contributions to our understanding of the influence of social relationship to knowledge sharing. Then, the next section argues that the further comparison of the two articles. The last section concludes my reflection on these two articles.
The demonstrate purpose of Ford and Chan’s article is to investigate whether or not the cross-cultural differences within a company will influence the knowledge sharing between the employees when they communicate with each other and if so, how it can be influenced. (Ford &Chan, 2003) Through the studying and analyzing the data they collected from an international company subsidiary, Ford and Chan (2003) draw a conclusion that the cultural differences are indeed the obstacle to knowledge sharing, such as language, customs and the mode of thinking. In this matter, I am largely in agreement with them. For example, as an international student, language is the greatest obstacle for me. When I discuss an academic topic with my...