Is Introversion an Obstacle in Tacit Knowledge Sharing through Socialization? A Study on how Personality Traits Influence Knowledge Sharing Behavior

Anne Karete Nowers Hvidsten


In today’s knowledge-based economy, efficient management of an organization’s intellectual capital is becoming increasingly important. Tacit knowledge, as opposed to explicit knowledge, is an organization’s most vital knowledge, and this knowledge should be shared among co-workers in an efficient way. It is therefore crucial for managers to be aware of which factors that have an either positive or negative impact on the sharing of tacit knowledge. Personality is a factor that influence tacit knowledge sharing. Tacit knowledge is best shared through practices that require social interaction. This paper investigates the relation between tacit knowledge sharing and introversion in particular. Introverts are perceived to be withdrawn, quiet, and to have poorer social skills than extraverts, and therefore might have an inhibiting effect on knowledge sharing. However, by examining existing literature, this paper shows that typical introverted personality traits serve as both motivators and obstacles in tacit knowledge sharing.

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