This paper aims to present findings from a study of non-profit organizations (NPOs), including a model of knowledge needs that can be applied by practitioners and scholars…
This paper aims to present findings from a study of non-profit organizations (NPOs), including a model of knowledge needs that can be applied by practitioners and scholars to further develop the NPO sector.
A survey was conducted with NPOs operating in Canada and Australia. An analysis of survey responses identified the different types of knowledge essential for each organization. Respondents identified the importance of three pre-determined themes (quantitative data) related to knowledge needs, as well as a fourth option, which was a free text box (qualitative data). The quantitative and qualitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistical analyses and a grounded theory approach, respectively.
Analysis of the quantitative data indicates that NPOs ' needs are comparable in both countries. Analysis of qualitative data identified five major categories and multiple sub-categories representing the types of knowledge needs of NPOs. Major categories are knowledge about management and organizational practices, knowledge about resources, community knowledge, sectoral knowledge and situated knowledge. The paper discusses the results using semantic proximity and presents an emergent, evidence-based knowledge management (KM)-NPO model.
The findings contribute to the growing body of literature in the KM domain, and in the understudied research domain related to the knowledge needs and experiences of NPOs. NPOs will find the identified categories and sub-categories useful to undertake KM initiatives within their individual organizations. The study is also unique, as it includes data from two countries, Canada and Australia.
This paper aims first to identify key interorganisational partnership types among non-profit organisations (NPOs) and second to determine how knowledge sharing takes place…
This paper aims first to identify key interorganisational partnership types among non-profit organisations (NPOs) and second to determine how knowledge sharing takes place within each type of partnership. Results explore the value of social media specifically in facilitating external relationships between NPOs, firms and the communities they serve.
Empirical qualitative analysis of exploratory interviews with 16 Canadian NPOs generates a non-exhaustive classification of partnership types emerging from these organisations, and their defining characteristics in the context of interorganisational knowledge sharing.
Overall eight categories of partnerships from the sampled NPOs emerged from the analysis of the data. These include business partnerships, sector partnerships, community partnerships, government partnerships, expert partnerships, endorsement partnerships, charter partnerships and hybrid partnerships. Using examples from interviews, the sharing of knowledge within each of these partnerships is defined uniquely in terms of directionality (i.e. uni-directional, bi-directional, multi-directional knowledge sharing) and formality (i.e. informal, semi-formal or formal knowledge sharing).Specific practices within these relationships also arise from examples, in particular, the use of social media to support informal and community-driven collaborations. Twitter, as a popular social networking tool, emerges as a preferred medium that supports interorganisational partnerships relevant to NPOs.
This research is valuable in identifying the knowledge management practices unique to NPOs. By examining and discussing specific examples of partnerships encountered among NPOs, this paper contributes original findings about the implications of interorganisational knowledge sharing, as well as the impact of emerging social technologies on same.