Knowledge-hoarding: Knowledge-hoarding and knowledge-sharing as dimensions of information work - a comparative case

Deniz D. Hansen

Student thesis: Master thesis


Knowledge-sharing is a theoretical hot topic in literature and has been for many years. In this case study the author seeks to draw attention away from the concept of knowledge-sharing and focus to a greater extent on its evil twin – knowledge-hoarding. Knowledge-hoarding is often considered a negative in terms of knowledge-sharing and the informational capabilities of an organization, reducing knowledge-hoarding to a disease within the information ecosystem of an organization. In this case study the author tries to investigate the concept of knowledge-hoarding through a comparative analysis on two very knowledge-dependent organizations focusing on the structural mechanisms of the organizations governing the nature of the informational environment and the impact they have on the quality and nature of information sharing. In addition the author seeks to investigate if knowledge-hoarding is per definition a pure negative or if certain positives can be derived from it. In conclusion the author finds that within the context investigated, the distribution, handling and quality of knowledge is dependent on the structures governing the environment. Furthermore the author concludes that though knowledge-hoarding is within the context in question predominantly a negative, certain positive elements can come from a very knowledge hostile environment potentially outweighing the negatives and creating new opportunities and competitive advantages for the organization.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and Information Systems, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2011
Number of pages90