Knowledge sharing among healthcare professionals in Ghana

DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/VJIKMS-08-2015-0048
Publication Date14 November 2016
Pages479-491
AuthorPatrick Boateng Assem,Kwaku Agyepong Pabbi
SubjectInformation & knowledge management,Knowledge management,Knowledge management systems
Knowledge sharing among
healthcare professionals
in Ghana
Patrick Boateng Assem and Kwaku Agyepong Pabbi
Department of Computer Science,
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
Abstract
Purpose Knowledge management is very useful to the most departments and sectors of the
economy, and the healthcare sector is no exception. Thus, this paper aims to explore how healthcare
professionals share knowledge in the Ghanaian healthcare sector. It also ascertains challenges faced by
healthcare professionals in Ghana with regards to knowledge sharing.
Design/methodology/approach – The study used a case study research design. Data were collected
from some healthcare professions working in the Ejisu-Juaben Municipality in Ghana using face-to-face
interview. Data were analysed using thematic analysis technique.
Findings – The results show that the healthcare facilities studied do not have any formal knowledge
management systems, and therefore healthcare professionals rely on informal conversations and
seminars to share knowledge. Again, it was found that lack of trust, lack of technological facilities, lack
of organizational policy regarding, fear of getting extra task or responsibility, network failure (both
mobile phone and internet) and culture are some of the challenge healthcare professionals face in
sharing knowledge.
Originality/value – This study contributes to the knowledge sharing literature especially in the
healthcare sector in Ghana, as limited studies have been conducted in this area.
Keywords Knowledge sharing, Ghana, Knowledge management, Knowledge,
Information technology (IT), Healthcare professionals
Paper type Research paper
Introduction
According to Nicolini et al. (2008, p. 247), healthcare knowledge management research in
the past has concentrated on three issues:
(1) the natural state of knowledge in the healthcare sector;
(2) the type of knowledge management tools and right plans for the healthcare
sector; and
(3) the barriers and enablers to adoption of knowledge management practices.
Dwivedi et al. (2006) observed that knowledge management as a paradigm in healthcare
has been entirely new, and much research has not been conducted to “guide academic
and organizational stakeholders”. Knowledge sharing is not obvious and easily
recognized, which Porter and Teisberg (2006) see to be a way of showing the
organizations’ commitment to patients and to improvement. The existing information
systems only allow standard and very formal information exchange (i.e. exact
information like standard short texts, statistics and number values using preformatted
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
www.emeraldinsight.com/2059-5891.htm
Knowledge
sharing
479
Received 15 August 2015
Revised 20 January 2016
25 April 2016
6 August 2016
Accepted 14 August 2016
VINEJournal of Information and
KnowledgeManagement Systems
Vol.46 No. 4, 2016
pp.479-491
©Emerald Group Publishing Limited
2059-5891
DOI 10.1108/VJIKMS-08-2015-0048

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