Effectiveness of Communication Channels for Knowledge Sharing: A Study of Kuwaiti Companies
Sajjad ur Rehman
Different theories have been advanced and tested about the choice of communication media/channels. These theories deal with information richness, task orientation and relevance of social and organisational contexts in developed nations. Communication media are distinctly important to knowledge sharing. This study will investigate the effectiveness of communication channels in the private companies of Kuwait, a developing nation, so as to ascertain whether these theories are valid in the setting of a developing nation. A research instrument was developed with ten communication channels, and 526 participants from nine Kuwaiti companies indicated the perceived degree of effectiveness of ten media for sharing information/knowledge. It was found that the employees of Kuwaiti companies perceived documented knowledge to be more effective than other media. Face-to-face informal communications, the richest medium found in the earlier studies, was perceived to be less effective than memos, letters and written pronouncements. The telephone was perceived to be a significantly less effective medium. Electronic channels were also not perceived to be as effective. Differences in these results have been explained in the sociocultural and organisational context of Kuwait.
Communication theories, knowledge sharing, communication channels, communication media, media richness
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