The Role of Social Capital in Knowledge Sharing in Higher Education Institutes


  • Abdulqaadir Diriye


social capital, higher education, knowledge sharing, Saudi Arabia, socialization, trust, participation, rewards


A majority of the activities performed in higher education institutions are routines that need to be learned, remembered and refined for improvement. These include academic and administrative tasks that are central to the proper functioning of the institution. In addition to this, as any business, higher education institutions need to compete and innovate at a time when their performances are measured in detail by their management, students, governments and other external bodies. Staff members in various roles often become familiar with certain routine tasks. Although an institution may rely on these members and others who master a particular activity whenever needed, there is no guarantee that staff members or even teams will stay with the institution. Therefore, it would be necessary to ensure that institutional knowledge does not become synonymous with individual staff members and, therefore, the knowledge is available only when these individuals are present and absent when they are away. This paper looks into how higher education institutions can enhance their knowledge sharing practices by cultivating social capital among its employees. It employs a set of semi‑structured interviews to gauge the attitudes of employees of two institutions in Saudi Arabia. This is complemented by a literature survey looking into how social capital theory is adapted by earlier researchers in the area of knowledge sharing. The findings indicate that trust, social interactions, participation and rewards have strong influence in knowledge sharing.



1 Dec 2019



General Paper