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Do Reward Systems Encourage Tacit Knowledge Sharing in Management Consulting Firms?

Do Reward Systems Encourage Tacit Knowledge Sharing in Management Consulting Firms?
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Author(s): Ricky Laupase (Edith Cowan University, Australia)and Dieter Fink (Edith Cowan University, Australia)
Copyright: 2002
Pages: 4
Source title: Issues & Trends of Information Technology Management in Contemporary Organizations
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-930708-39-6.ch159
ISBN13: 9781930708396
EISBN13: 9781466641358


Management consulting firms are typical examples of knowledge-intensive organisations that use their consultants’ tacit knowledge to resolve clients’ problems. They have been in the forefront of developing ways to encourage the sharing of tacit knowledge among consultants because their success depends heavily on this type of interaction. This paper explores whether or not reward systems actively facilitate the sharing and transfer of tacit knowledge among consultants. The research framework has been based on the spiral evolution of Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) and the reward classifications of VonKortzfleisch and Mergel (2001). Seven senior management executives from different international management consulting firms who have had extensive experience in the consulting industry were interviewed. Our study found that reward systems did motivate consultants to share knowledge with each other. The most effective approach was to share tacit knowledge in informal meetings and to offer non-material rewards.

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