Loughborough University
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Individual variables with an impact on knowledge sharing: the critical role of employees’ ignorance.

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journal contribution
posted on 2015-08-07, 15:05 authored by John Israilidis, Evangelia Siachou, Louise Cooke, Russell LockRussell Lock
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to identify individual variables with an impact on knowledge sharing and explore the under-discussed construct of employees’ ignorance. This can enhance the knowledge sharing process and facilitate the development of greater intellectual capital. Design/methodology/approach: Eighty-four dependent variables affecting knowledge sharing are analyzed and classified into eleven categories. In addition, the direct effect of employees’ ignorance on knowledge sharing is introduced and empirically investigated in a case study of a multinational organization operating within the Aerospace and Defense industry. Findings: The findings suggest that employees’ ignorance may negatively affect their intention to share knowledge, thus leading to poor decision-making and communication in organizations. Employees’ ignorance could also limit the organizational ability to repel external threats, implement innovation and manage future risks. Originality/value: A classification scheme based on different categories of employees’ ignorance is developed, providing tailor-made recommendations for practitioners facing different types of ill-informed organizational scenarios. Further, the need to shift the emphasis away from the management of knowledge to the management of ignorance is also an important contribution of this paper.



  • Business and Economics


  • Business

Published in

Journal of Knowledge Management


ISRAILIDIS, J. ... et al, 2015. Individual variables with an impact on knowledge sharing: the critical role of employees’ ignorance. Journal of Knowledge Management, 19(6), pp.1109-1123.


© Emerald


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date



This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Journal of Knowledge Management and the definitive published version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JKM-04-2015-0153




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