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Managing knowledge sharing — Case study of a consulting firm


  • Tamás Szirtes

    () (Intenzz Integration Services Zeist Netherlands)


This paper examines how existing patterns in knowledge sharing within a business organization can be managed to promote knowledge sharing. The existing patterns are analyzed in a Dutch consulting company using the four elementary forms of sociality (communal sharing, authority ranking, equality matching, and market pricing) as defined by the Relational Models Theory (Fiske 1991). The results support the hypothesis that the four models of Fiske’s theory can describe all knowledge sharing inside this consulting firm. The research introduced the so-called knowledge sharing patterns, which are combinations of the four models, as extensions of the original theory. Once management better understood the patterns in the organization, they could initiate changes which led to higher level of knowledge sharing. The changes included more formal and informal meetings, organization of communities of practice, and new use of the intranet portal. This shows that the extension of Fiske’s theory, beyond its contribution to science, can be the basis for a useful methodology to deliver business value.

Suggested Citation

  • Tamás Szirtes, 2012. "Managing knowledge sharing — Case study of a consulting firm," Society and Economy, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 34(1), pages 139-160, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:aka:soceco:v:34:y:2012:i:1:p:139-160

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    More about this item


    knowledge; knowledge sharing; knowledge management; pattern; consulting; motivation; Relational Models Theory; communities of practice;

    JEL classification:

    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
    • M10 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - General


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