The perceptions of the link between knowledge sharing and management development in the South African workplace.
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Knowledge sharing has been highly associated with organizational success, project completion, and the achievement of organizational objectives (Castaneda & Toulson, 2013). Previous studies have found that knowledge sharing was directly linked to the organizational culture and the actions of top management. Certain factors have been studied in relation to knowledge sharing including: management support, personality types, incentive/reward structures, organizational culture. Pillani (2007), as cited by Naicker (2010) found that there were eight factors for knowledge management sharing success: understanding and defining knowledge management; finding a commonplace between individual and business needs; carefully selecting and integrating knowledge management champions and a support team; gaining senior management support, educating on the benefits of financial and non-financial rewards; and creating a balance between IT and people. Although there is a wide variety of literature demonstrating the positive effects of knowledge sharing and knowledge management, there is a scarcity of literature sources that discuss the importance of knowledge sharing for the success of management development programmes. Most importantly there is no study according to the researcher’s knowledge, that addresses the gaps in organizational understanding of knowledge sharing and knowledge management. The study used a web-based questionnaire that was administered to 54 managers from various levels of the University of Kwazulu-Natal. Findings confirmed the tenets of the social exchange theory in relation to knowledge sharing in the workplace, and the significance and value of knowledge sharing in the organizational context. The results confirmed the existence of a high level of competition and knowledge hoarding behaviors within the organization. The findings described a disconnect between organizational objectives and management development objectives, and highlighted some of the shortfalls of existing management development programmes. This study sought to address the link between knowledge sharing and management development by seeking to uncover the perceptions and understanding of these two concepts and if they perceive the two to be linked. This broad work to investigate a link between knowledge sharing and management development spurs on a more refined investigation in this area of research, and has particular significance for the improvement of knowledge systems and management development initiatives within the organization.