Institutional isomorphism in collaborative, cross-cultural, project-based development work: an inquiry into the knowledge sharing behaviour of volunteers

James Toner, Jorge Tiago Martins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Using an institutionalist lens, this study aims to identify factors that influence the knowledge sharing behaviour of volunteers engaged in collaborative, cross-cultural and project-focussed development work. Design/methodology/approach: Following an inductive research design, the authors conducted a thematic analysis of interviews with volunteers to explore the practicalities of knowledge sharing in the context of development aid projects and to examine contributing factors, such as personality, motivations, experience and variations in team members’ understanding of the nature and objective of projects. Findings: Through exploring the experiences of volunteers working on cross-cultural development aid programmes, the authors identify and discuss the ways in which the preparation of volunteers and the structuring of project work is shaped by managerialist modes of thinking, with an emphasis on the creation of an environment that is conducive to sustainable knowledge sharing practices for all stakeholders involved. Originality/value: The examination of volunteer development work tendency towards institutional isomorphism is a novel contribution intersecting the areas of knowledge sharing in the project, volunteer-led and culturally diverse environments.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Knowledge Management
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Employee behaviour
  • International organisations
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Project teams
  • Qualitative research
  • Voluntary

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