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The individual and the collective: Factors affecting knowledge sharing in Saudi Arabian companies

Sawsan Taha H. Dulayami (Information Science Department, King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.)
Lyn Robinson (Centre for Information Science, City University London, London, United Kingdom)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 12 January 2015




The purpose of this paper is to report a study which investigates some factors in the current state of knowledge management (KM) in Saudi Arabia, and to consider the relevance of the findings for KM and information sharing generally.


A survey of Saudi Arabia private companies with a KM policy was carried out, and the issues raised were investigated further by literature analysis.


Issues examined include the effect of demographics, the balance between human and digital resources, the relation between KM and organisational learning, the effect of the cultural context, the nature of reward for knowledge sharing, including enhancement of self-worth, and the relation between the personal and individual, and the collective and social.

Research limitations/implications

The survey has a self-selected convenience sample, which is rather skewed demographically. The literature analysis is selective rather than comprehensive.


Presents an analysis of some general issues of KM and information sharing through the lens of one cultural context.



This project was funded by the Deanship of Scientific Research (DSR) King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, under grant no: (005/246/1434/PHRP).


Dulayami, S.T.H. and Robinson, L. (2015), "The individual and the collective: Factors affecting knowledge sharing in Saudi Arabian companies", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 71 No. 1, pp. 198-209.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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