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The participating organizations are all operated in Hungary; they are private-owned Hungarian companies, subsidiaries of multinational companies, and other organizations in the field of public administration, but the exact statistical composition is unknown, as the questionnaire did not have questions about industry sectors’ classification.

Based on the number of employees, 55% were large companies, 24% were medium-sized enterprises, 10% were small businesses and 11% were micro businesses. Somewhat more than half of the organizations (54%) were domestic subsidiaries of foreign companies, and 46% were Hungarianowned companies. 27% of the respondents were top managers, 42% were middle level managers and 31% were white collar workers. The participants belonged to three generations; 22% from Baby Boomers, 60% from Generation X and 18% from Generation Y (KPMG Academy, 2014).

Data Analysis

In the following section, we provide an analysis of the data we obtained through the survey. We note that the survey responses demonstrate that Hungarian businesses are beginning to grasp the importance of knowledge and knowledge management but still have a long way to go to fully embrace knowledge management practices (KPMG Academy, 2014).

Knowledge management strategy and initiatives

Organizations in Hungary are just starting to implement knowledge management strategies. Overall, still only 37% of respondent organizations have developed a comprehensive strategy in the form of a written document (it is exactly the same percentage like in our previous


VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 (MARCH 2015) survey in 2006); however, 81% states knowledge as a strategic asset (which is 4% higher than in 2006) (KPMG-BME Academy 2006).

It can be seen that there is huge gap between theory and reality.

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However, significant growth can be detected with respect to knowledge sharing programs, initiatives or projects exist in the respondents’ organizations (from 46% to 69%). Elaborating knowledge management strategy is still not a typical activity, but it does not mean that organizations are not trying to support the dissemination of knowledge. Almost half of the participated large companies (45%) have developed a formal knowledge management strategy development while this rate is only 29% for the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. When we compare foreign-owned organizations with Hungarian organizations (27%), 47% of the former have developed a formal strategy whilst only 27% of the latter have (Gaál et al., 2014).

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were three of them, which we were able to measure now and in the past. In each case we identified strong growth in the use of these tools as we demonstrate in Figure 4.

In the period participation in communities of practices has more than doubled (from 29% to 70%), and a growing proportion of respondents turn to competence center or center of excellence for knowledge (21% to 30%). The usage of document management systems and knowledge repository measurably increased (from 50% to 76%) (KPMG Academy, 2014).

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The following section provides the results of the survey focusing on the existence and the usage of internal technologies and practices. In this context internal means all in-house technologies which can be self-developed or available essentially pre-packaged through an intranet.

The results of the survey indicate (Table 3) which internal knowledge sharing tools are available to be used by employees for information and/or knowledge sharing internally and which are selected by the employees from the available ones for knowledge sharing purposes during work (KPMG Academy, 2014).



Table 3. Existence and usage of internal knowledge sharing technologies/practices

*Clearly the percentages represent percentages relating to the organizations that provide the various knowledge sharing technologies/practices and therefore provide the possibility that employees make use of them.



The most popular practice for knowledge sharing is internal training, and three‐quarters of the participated organizations have a document management system and knowledge repository and have the possibility to take part in the life of communities of practices. Half of the organizations provide support for instant messaging service, but with respect to the other technologies, less than half of organizations were made accessible to employees. However, where the employees are allowed to use any of these tools, a high proportion (in every case more than 50%) of the people utilize them for knowledge sharing during work (KPMG Academy, 2014).

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As regards the general accessibility of external knowledge sharing technologies/practices (Figure 5) many organizations demonstrate considerable aversion (KPMG-Academy, 2014).

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There are only two external knowledge sharing tools, which can be found more than half of the organizations, the participation in communities of practices and social networking service, but only third (or less) of the organizations allow the usage of instant messaging services, blogs, video sharing, groupware or presentation sharing.


VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 (MARCH 2015) We were interested in which technologies are used for knowledge sharing during work or for professional development at the participating organizations (Figure 6).

It was an interesting result that the organizations where the employees are allowed to use these tools, a high proportion (concerning six tools out of seven, more than 70%) of the people utilize them. Although interest in social media is increasing, organizations do not tend to allow their employees to use social media technologies. This may be because they are concerned about the risks and consequences of a potential misuse. On the other hand knowledge workers and managers may not appreciate the value of using these tools because of a lack of motivation to share knowledge or they may not be aware of the advantages of using these tools for work purposes.

Figure 6. Usage of external knowledge sharing technologies/practices* Source: KPMG Academy.

2014. p. 10.

*Clearly the percentages represent percentages relating to the organizations that provide the various knowledge sharing technologies/practices and therefore provide the possibility that employees make use of them.



Knowledge sharing behaviour (motivators)

We were interested in to what extent the participants agree with the following statements concerning the factors relating to motivation for knowledge sharing.

For each category we identify a specific a statement which were scored on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree) (KPMG Academy, 2014):

• reciprocity: willing to share knowledge with the colleagues in order to get useful knowledge from them in the future.

• reputation: willing to share my knowledge with my colleagues in order to be known as a knowledgeable person with valuable expertise.

• altruism: I am willing to share my knowledge with my colleagues in order to help them.

Fully 95% of respondents claim that they share their knowledge with others because they want to help them. 66% consider that others have knowledge that they may need at a later date. In our sample only half (51%) agree with the statement that they share their knowledge, to be known as a knowledgeable person with valuable expertise. Thus the most powerful motivators, as identified by our survey, are altruism and reciprocity.

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followed by the next step when people share the result of their successful activity with others, as they are proud of it. Then when members of the community share information with each other on a reciprocal basis. Only few people reach the level of altruism. We can conclude, that the practical experience and the self-assessment questionnaire results do not match (KPMG Academy, 2014).

Individuals’ knowledge sharing behaviours in the workplace are divergent and highly dependent on their willingness to share knowledge. As a result it is of critical importance to understand how to foster employees’ knowledge sharing has become critical. Our new research will examine the relationship between emotional intelligence traits (Petrides, 2009) and knowledge sharing. The aim of the research will be to define which emotional intelligence factors (well-being, emotionality, self-control and sociability) influence knowledge sharing.

We will use a more sophisticated measurement, for each category of knowledge sharing behaviour (altruism, reciprocity, reputation) we will involve 5 component statements which will be scored on a 7-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree) (Obermayer-Kovács – Komlósi, 2014).

Personal characteristic correlations

Although individuals might recognize the importance of knowledge management practices for the success of their daily business lives, it might be presumed that the degree of the willingness to share knowledge likely depends on their personal demographic features.

In our exploratory study we examined the correlation between social media technologies – used for knowledge sharing during work – and the personal characteristics of respondents, such as their age and their work position. One typical hypothesis about the affinity of individuals with respect to knowledge management and social media technologies is that the younger generations are likely to have a greater affinity for using them.


Using our dataset SPSS, we investigated descriptive statistics, including Pearson’s chisquared test and contingency tables. A contingency table (also referred to as cross tabulation or cross tab) is a type of table in a matrix format that displays the (multivariate) frequency distribution of the variables. Pearson’s chi-squared test is used to test the independence of variables. The chi-square test is a useful tool to determine whether it is worth interpreting a contingency table. A significant result of this test means that the cells of a contingency table NÓRA OBERMAYER-KOVÁCS – ANTHONY WENSLEY 55


should be interpreted. A non-significant test means that no effects were discovered and chance could explain the observed differences in the cells. In this case, an interpretation of the cell frequencies is not useful. Contingency tables are constructed by listing all the levels of one variable as rows in a table and the levels of the other variables as columns, then finding the joint or cell frequency for each cell. The cell frequencies are then summed across both rows and columns (Stockburger, 1998). 

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We examined the relationship between individual characteristics and usage of internal/external social media technologies (Gaál et al., 2014).

Internal social networking service Regarding internal social networking service we found relationship with both individual characteristics. As the age of the individual increases, the willingness to use this tool for knowledge sharing during work increases: 25% of Generation Y, 41% of Generation X, 55% of Baby Boomers. We investigate the willingness to use internal social networking classified by position, only 26% of white collar workers, while nearly half (47%) of managers (middle level and top management) utilize the internal social networking service.

The higher one’s position is the greater the need for such a tool, which facilitates to establish collaboration with colleagues working in other departments or in other countries at an international organization. Younger people choose open systems and they use applications that provide free access anytime and anywhere and they do not use the term Intranet at all.

Internal instant messaging service The survey data demonstrates that the usage of internal instant messaging service is used by 58% of top management a little bit more than one third of the middle level managers and white collar workers (38%). We would argue that that, for international organizations, at top management level there are numerous negotiations that take place across national borders, and these tools provide a more cost-effective solution supporting such negotiations.

Presentation sharing technology We discovered the following utilization of presentation sharing technologies 60% of Baby Boomers, 39% of Generation X, and only 35% of Generation Y. What could be the reason for this result? How many people make presentations nowadays at all? For example, the TED


VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 (MARCH 2015) talks are typically held without any presentation, some photos may be used as an illustration.

Or just think about using Prezi, which is an auto-sharing application.

External social networking service With respect to external social media technologies only one significant relationship was encountered. Regarding the external social networking service (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn), the higher the position of the individual in the organization, the more frequently they more they make use of external social networking for work- related purposes. Thus, 68% of top management, 59% of middle level managers and only almost the half (49%) of white collar workers use this tool for knowledge sharing during work. However, it is important to make a distinction between Facebook and LinkedIn. With respect to Facebook we would argue that usage would be greater among those in lower positions. However, in the case of LinkedIn we might expect higher usage among higher positions because it is generally known that the executive head hunting companies often gather information from that site.

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