Exploring barriers in expertise seeking : why don't they ask an expert?
Helms, R. W., Diemer, D. and Lichtenstein, S. 2011, Exploring barriers in expertise seeking : why don't they ask an expert?, in PACIS 2011 : Proceedings of the 15th Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld., pp. 1-13.
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This paper reports findings from a research project that explores reasons why some employees prefer to seek expertise to resolve work-related problems from direct colleagues rather than designated internal experts. Several studies suggest that while an expert generally provides a higher quality solution in a shorter time, workers tend to ask friendly or proximate colleagues to help with knowledge-based problems at work. Prior research provides only fragmented insights into understanding the barriers to asking a designated internal expert for help at work. To address this gap, we asked post-graduate students enrolled in a knowledge management subject at a large Australian university to share their perspectives in an online discussion forum. Content analysis of the collected perspectives enabled identification of twenty-one factors that may limit the seeking of expertise from a designated internal expert. The factors are grouped in four categories: environment, accessibility, communication and personality. In addition one context variable is described, determining the extent to which the barriers are influential in a specific situation. By synthesising the results, we have proposed two models of expertise-seeking barriers. A literature review helps validate the barriers identified by the study. Key theoretical and practical implications are also discussed.
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Field of Research
080609 Information Systems Management
Socio Economic Objective
890399 Information Services not elsewhere classified
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