Knowledge generation and sharing in UK universities: A tale of two cultures?

Kerry E. Howell, Fenio Annansingh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Citations (Scopus)


As economies become more knowledge intensive it has become evident to most organizations that knowledge is a valuable resource. This is particularly true in academic organizations, which have the generation and dissemination of knowledge as their principal mission. This research assesses whether path-dependency exists in relation to cultural expectations of knowledge generation and sharing in knowledge intensive organizations. This paper adopts a constructivist approach facilitated by focus group discussions which were conducted in two UK universities, one Russell group university and the other a post-1992. Institutional culture and path dependency play a major role in the willingness of institutions to generate and share knowledge. Each institution exemplified a distinct path-dependency that underpinned cultural expectations but in each case internal and external factors were necessitating changes regarding knowledge sharing and generation which affected individual perspectives and organizational structures. The paper concludes by purporting that certain universities display critical junctures and cultural transformation in terms of knowledge generation, dissemination and sharing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-39
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Information Management
Issue number1
Early online date24 May 2012
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


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