lichtenstein-understanding-2006.pdf (416.69 kB)
Download file

Understanding the impact of organisational downsizing on knowledge sharing

Download (416.69 kB)
conference contribution
posted on 2006-01-01, 00:00 authored by Sharman Lichtenstein, M Brain
Careful consideration by managers of the potential impact of the popular strategy of economic restructuring (downsizing) on organisational structure and culture could improve the quality of organisational knowledge sharing, however this influence has not yet been addressed in the knowledge management literature. This paper explores how a strategy of downsizing may reshape organisational structure and culture and inhibit organisational knowledge sharing, drawing on an interpretive case study of knowledge sharing in an information technology services function at a large Australian education service provider. Key findings indicate that when specialised teams are downsized, subcultures may develop where teams become mistrustful and insular, and knowledge sharing is constrained across teams. Further, when a hierarchical structure is present and downsizing occurs, managers may become more cautious about sharing knowledge with subordinates. The study also suggests that Internet technologies may play a key role in helping to compensate for the shortfall in knowledge stock resulting from downsizing. In conclusion, this paper highlights an important need for companies to consider the potential negative influences of downsizing on organisationalknowledge sharing.



European Conference on Information Systems


1 - 12




Gotegorg, Sweden

Place of publication

Gotegorg, Sweden

Start date


End date





Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in Deakin Research Online. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact

Publication classification

E1 Full written paper - refereed

Copyright notice

2006, ECIS

Title of proceedings

ECIS 2006 : Proceedings of the XIXth European Conference on Information Systems

Usage metrics