Cultural Factors and Knowledge Sharing in Medium-sized Enterprises in Albania: A Qualitative, Multisite Case Study

Cultural Factors and Knowledge Sharing in Medium-sized Enterprises in Albania: A Qualitative, Multisite Case Study

Author: 
Narasimha Rao Vajjhala
Program of study: 
D.M.
Abstract: 
Knowledge sharing, if not successful, can hinder the development of small- and mediumsized firms because of loss of productivity and competitiveness. Knowledge sharing is subject to organizational and national cultural influences. Medium-sized firms often implement general knowledge-sharing models without considering cultural factors. In this qualitative, multisite, exploratory case study the influence of cultural factors on knowledge-sharing activities in medium-sized enterprises in transition economies is examined. The study is driven by the central research question: How do cultural factors influence employees’ perceptions of knowledge-sharing initiatives in medium-sized enterprises in transition economies? Qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted with 20 managers working in 10 medium-sized enterprises in Albania, which is a transition economy. The six themes generated reveal the influence of cultural factors on employees’ perceptions of knowledge-sharing initiatives in medium-sized enterprises in transition economies. The key findings of this study are that national culture and organizational culture influence employee behavior and participation in knowledgesharing activities. It is critical organizational leaders of medium-sized firms in Albania consider the influence of these factors before implementing knowledge-sharing activities in firms.
Dedication: 
I dedicate this dissertation to my parents for enabling me to make this effort a reality and my colleagues at the University of New York in Tirana for their constant support in this endeavor. I dedicate this effort to my father, mother, and sister who stood by me through this period of my life.
Acknowledgements: 
I wish to sincerely thank Dr. Jelena Vucetic for her support as my committee chair and mentor in guiding my efforts throughout this study. I would also like to thank her for her patience despite several small breaks I had to take during this program for personal reasons and having confidence in my ability to complete this dissertation. Dr. Vucetic has always motivated me to complete my dissertation, and without her support, I would have never completed the journey. I would also like to thank my committee members, Dr. Kenneth Strang and Dr. Ramon Moran for their valuable support. Dr. Strang has been with me since the start of the dissertation process, and his feedback and constructive criticism have been extremely useful. His guidance, motivation, and support in publishing my first peer-reviewed article on a topic different from my dissertation helped me develop a scholarly outlook and understand the importance of quality research. I would also like to thank Dr. Moran who accepted my request for joining the committee at a later stage and for motivating me to complete the dissertation. I will be always grateful to my committee chair and members for their constant motivation and guidance. A special thank you to Dr. Michelle Crowley and Desray J. Britz (CEO) of Language Online Editing (www.languageonline.us) who assisted with the editing of this dissertation and included a template to tidy the formatting. I would like to thank my colleagues at my workplace for their patience, support, and motivation, without which I would have never completed this dissertation. Finally, I would like to convey my gratitude to my parents and my family for tolerating my absence at several important gatherings because of my preoccupation with completing this program.