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Exploring sensings in practice: affect and knowledge sharing

Dean Vincent Leith (Department of Communications, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Technology Sydney , Ultimo, Australia)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 3 May 2019

Issue publication date: 3 May 2019




The purpose of this paper is to investigate the nature of knowledge sharing and what is experienced as being shared as knowledge sharing unfolds. In particular, the paper explores affect as a key aspect of knowledge sharing in an organisational context.


A practice theoretical approach is applied to the study combined with a phenomenological research methodology that focusses on the “lived experience” of participants.


Knowledge-sharing practice was found to encompass cognitive, social, bodily and affective dimensions. Affect was found to be a significant component of the practice as revealed by participant emotion and the use of conversational humour.

Research limitations/implications

In light of the findings, the researcher recommends a focus on participant sensings in practice theoretical research, in combination with sayings, doings and relatings.


The approach to the study is significant in that, in contrast to previous practice-based research in information studies, it applied a methodology adapted from phenomenology. This combination of approaches opened the investigation to the multi-dimensional experiential nature of knowledge-sharing practice highlighting the significant role of affect in knowledge sharing.



Research funding: this research is supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship.


Leith, D.V. (2019), "Exploring sensings in practice: affect and knowledge sharing", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 75 No. 3, pp. 500-516.



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