Document (#30889)

Author
Koivumäki, J.
Title
Trust, solidarity, and knowledge sharing
Source
Wissensorganisation und Verantwortung: Gesellschaftliche, ökonomische und technische Aspekte. Proceedings der 9. Tagung der Deutschen Sektion der Internationalen Gesellschaft für Wissensorganisation Duisburg, 5.-7. November 2004. Hrsg. von H.P. Ohly u.a
Imprint
Würzburg : Ergon Verlag
Year
2006
Pages
S.251-255
Series
Fortschritte in der Wissensorganisation; Bd.9
Abstract
In this paper I will present a causal model that outlines the theoretical framework of my ongoing dissertation research. The main issue of the research is to trace the organizational structures and social psychological processes which generate trust and coworker solidarity between knowledge workers within work communities of the state sector's expert organizations in Finland. I will also explore what kinds of effects trust and solidarity have on organizational processes, such as on knowledge sharing. It is has been commonly argued that knowledge- intensive work in various organizations has increased greatly during the last, let say, fifteen years. The development of information and communication technology (ICI), together with some other factors such as the market deregulation, have been driving forces behind this change. With the increased speed of economic transactions organizations are forced to face a new type of uncertainty and complexity related to the operating environment involving a variety of networks. To overcome problems caused by increased ambiguity, relevant knowledge and high quality information have become most valuable resources of every knowledge-based organization. Huotari and Iivonen (ibid.) emphasize that managing all these challenges and options demands, in addition to new technological tools and equipment, new "invisible means", as well. One of these means is trust. The same tools and equipment might lead to very different results in different organizations and networks depending on how invisible means are taken into account in managing and organizing work activities. It is not unusual for an organization to invest substantial financial resources into new ICI to enable better practices in acquiring, collecting, storing, distributing, sharing, and utilizing codified knowledge and information resources. However, the real benefit from new technological investments will be. achieved only if its use is supported by such invisible managerial means as trust. Trust has a crucial role to play when organizations aim at innovations and successful operations. Although trust has been studied for decades in various disciplines, the importance of trust has never before been more significant than it is today both in theory and in practice. To sum up, in the knowledge society it is an imperative for work organizations that knowledge and information move fast and reliably from place A to place B and from person A to person B. Therefore, trust and solidarity (cf., emotional-based trust) are useful concepts in understanding the dynamics, problems, and logic of organizations which are - despite all new revolutionary technologies and other non- human artifacts - fundamentally human groups.

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