The Impact of Ethnic and Lingual Diversity on Short Term Knowledge Sharing

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ethnic diversity, ethnicity, knowledge management, KM, short term tasks, knowledge sharing, linguistic diversity, teams, work groups, teamwork, trust, communication, informal social interaction, group decision making, collaborative decision making

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Based on social categorisation theory and the similarity attraction paradigm, we propose that a high degree of ethno/lingo diversity in knowledge-intensive work groups, especially short-term ones, can inhibit knowledge sharing among members. Barriers identified in the knowledge sharing literature include trust, communication, and informal social interaction. A semi-quantitative approach was applied, involving a group collaborative decision making task. The results of the research task show that knowledge sharing within groups as a whole suffers as ethnic and linguistic diversity increase for short term groups. The findings provide a starting point for theory development and suggest creating more homogeneous groups for short-term tasks.

Citation / Publisher Attribution

International Journal of Business Environment, v. 6, no. 3, p. 246-265