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Practitioners and researchers have agreed upon the fact that the culture of organizations is one of the most difficult challenges and holds the key to the success of knowledge management. The basis for formation of subcultures has been found in empirical studies to range from age and gender though to department and function within the organization and have a range of both positive and negative impact upon the performance of a range of areas in an organization. We examine how knowledge in its various forms may have an impact on the formation of subcultures on knowledge sharing, and through a quantitative approach, our explorative study uncovers five subcultures in a Hungarian higher education institution. Our findings confirm subcultural boundaries and tribes and territories in this context and we apply these findings to existing theory on the evolutionary nature of strategy implementation as a means of considering the potential impact of subcultures on knowledge management initiatives. We conclude that subcultural lenses affect the assimilation of knowledge from management in general and find that multiculturalism in this large complex organisation is likely the best approach as each subculture has its own specific range of competencies as part of an overall market orientation. As a concluding section, we offer a ‘subcultural audit’ model for practitioners that may reduce the subcultural obstacles to knowledge sharing as part of knowledge management programs.
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- The World I Know: Knowledge Sharing and Subcultures in Large Complex Organisations
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