Important Factors in Knowledge Sharing with Expatriate

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Knowledge sharing is a crucial activity but not easily carried out in knowledge management. The effectiveness of knowledge sharing depends on each individual’s efforts related to social processes that are mostly motivated by self-interest. However, not all individuals are willing to share their knowledge with others. Someone who deems his knowledge very important and valuable, usually refuses to share it with others. If this happens, the process of knowledge sharing becomes ineffective. Related to work within a company or organization, employees are required to be able to do knowledge sharing effectively so the important knowledge obtained by employees can be well distributed. Thus, the company’s performance will be better. Therefore, managers need to understand the factors that can motivate and encourage employees to share their knowledge effectively. Managers can make policies, prepare and allocate adequate resources so employees can share knowledge easily and make a habit.

Knowledge sharing brings various benefits for both employees and companies. The benefits include being able to help employees work together more effectively, facilitating them to exchange knowledge, improving learning capacity in the organization, and improving employees’ ability to achieve goals. However, implementing knowledge sharing is not easy because there are various factors that might prevent a person from sharing his knowledge. These factors can come from the person himself, from the complexity of the company, or from the difficulty of his knowledge (knowledge stickiness).

Previous research stated that the source and recipient factors are the main factors influencing the success of knowledge sharingThese factors include motivation, opportunity, ability to absorb information or knowledge, cultural intelligence, and self-efficacy. Employees with good characteristics will bring success for the application of knowledge sharing.

In connection with these characteristics, expatriates as employees who are sent abroad to carry out a series of tasks also need to have characteristics that can support them in their duties. In this case, the expatriate can be considered a source or provider of information as most of the expatriates sent to other countries to convey information originating from the company’s central office to managers or employees in the subsidiary or branch of the company. This information or knowledge will be conveyed well if expatriates are able to implement knowledge sharing effectively. The failure of expatriates in transferring knowledge will be bad for the company as well as a big loss because sending them abroad requires great amount of funds. Therefore, managers who will send their employees abroad must know well the characteristics of prospective candidates. If there are some weakness from the prospective candidates, then the manager can hold a kind of intensive training and mentoring before departure.

The results of research conducted with Taiwanese expatriate respondents and foreigners working in Taiwan show interesting results. The results showed that motivation has no effect on knowledge sharing. It indicates that expatriates do not really need certain motivation in sharing their endorsement with others. They consider the activity as tasks that must be carried out. Furthermore, the opportunity to share knowledge has been proven to improve effectiveness in knowledge sharing.

It is very important because expatriates will be able to share their knowledge well with adequate opportunities given (time, facilities, etc.). If expatriates are required to do other things taking their time, they will not have the opportunity. Then, the ability to absorb information is another important factor that must be possessed by expatriates and employees in the host countryCultural intelligence has also been proven to improve knowledge sharing because adequate cultural knowledge will facilitate them in sharing knowledge with other employees in the company. Finally, the results of the study showed a unique thing, expatriate self-efficacy has a negative effect on knowledge sharing. It may occur from a bias in self-evaluation of an expatriate. Some expatriates may have judged themselves capable or experts in certain matters, but actually he did not know anything about it. It certainly causes delays in the transfer knowledge process to related parties. Based on the factors above, it is important for managers to select expatriates who will be sent abroad so that they can transfer knowledge effectively. Moreover, training and assistance need to be carried out both before and during expatriation.

Penulis : Alfiyatul Qomariyah

Details of the research available at:

Li-Yueh Lee, Alfiyatul Qomariyah. 2019. Managing expatriate knowledge sharing process: the roles of source and recipient contexts. International Journal of Services and Standards, 2018 Vol.12 No.3/4, pp.332 – 346.

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