Analysing the Communication Process Between Middle and top Managers Through the Concept of 'Ba'

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.34190/ejkm.19.3.2550

Keywords:

‘ba’, knowledge sharing, strategy communication process, top and middle managers, public sector

Abstract

In the last few decades the relevance of knowledge management to organizations has become increasingly apparent. However, there are varying levels of emphasis on researching different aspects of this multidimensional construct.  One such dimension is knowledge sharing, which is extensively researched from an impact perspective but with limited research on understand dynamic interactions of actors. In this research, we aim to explore factors influencing knowledge sharing among top and middle managers during the strategy communication process. We further draw on the concept of ‘ba’ as an alternative interpretive tool for understanding managerial interaction dynamics. Adopting a qualitative approach, 32 semi-structured interviews were conducted across a single case Kuwaiti public sector ministry and collated data presented as a thematic narrative to capture managerial perspectives. The findings indicate that organizations benefit more from aligning heterogenous groups within common collective spaces, and that social spaces or contexts are critically important for sharing knowledge pertinent to successful execution of strategies. Furthermore, the propensity to share knowledge was found to be dependent on the tribal affiliations of individual actors, and knowledge sharing dispositions was impacted by prejudices and social stereotypes. The research proposes practical considerations for organization management to foster knowledge exchange among the workforce.

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Published

20 Dec 2021

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Section

General Paper