What are you not telling me? Relationships and Disasters

Last time I had discussed the idea that the mind can do tricky things to us in terms of how we process things. While there is an independent portion of knowledge management, this week’s theme centers on teamwork. Connolley et. Al (2012) discusses the rarity in relationships where people lack trust with one another, and thus hide information, and how they do so via avoiding the person, their question, or giving false information. It makes me think about how trust relationships within the workplace affect those similar to the ones discussed in Wasko and Farj (2005), where the knowledge is within a contained environment. While these are opposite of one another, the fact that trust and forging connections through working with others fosters knowledge exchange is not surprising. I also think that this may be what determines knowledge sharing and who is in charge during emergency situations, as discussed by Ibrahim and Allen (2012). It also may determine who people believe and turn to in times of severe distress, such as disasters, in terms of the news media. Who do people rely on and trust and why? If people don’t rely on the media, what will happen to them- Chua (2007) mentions how despite an overload level of information, people did not understand what they were being told to do and what was going on during these disasters, which takes me back to Ibrahim and Allen (2012) by asking who were the voices that people trusted? What made the “heroes” or “leaders” step forward? Did people forge stronger communal ties during this time of trouble or did they distrust one another and hide information? I suppose it depends on the individual in question, since communal behavior and information exchange is hard to assess, given that the risks in Massingham’s (2010) discussion may be harder to apply to an emergency situation.

However, emergency situations are a special case, and though these are relevant to KM, the workplace is also a site for knowledge management. Up to this point, I had always felt that networking was overemphasized a bit, but as HereticalPoetical states it may determine one’s job security. RHMAXSONLIS658′s “communities of practice” may be what lessens taking the negative perceptions of taking risks,, and it may promote information exchange, however this may increase knowledge hiding if the community becomes cliquey  (Massingham 2010, Wasko and Farj 2005, and Connolley et. Al 2012). So the real question that this leave us with is how and why do people choose certain other persons to become a positive part of the knowledge community, while selecting others to be outsiders? Is this an organic process or is it deliberate? Does it depend on similarities or differences?


Chua, A. Y. K. (2007). A tale of two hurricanes: Comparing Katrina and Rita through a knowledge management perspective.Journal of the American Society of Information Science and Technology, 58(10), 1518-1528.

Connelly, C. E., Zweig, D., Webster, J., & Trougakos, J. P. (2012). Knowledge hiding in organizations. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 33(1), 64–88. doi:10.1002/job.737

Ibrahim, N. H., & Allen, D. (2012). Information sharing and trust during major incidents: Findings from the oil industry. Journal of the American Society of Information Science and Technology, 63(10), 1916-1928.

Massingham, P. (2010). Knowledge risk management: A framework. Journal of Knowledge Management, 14(3), 464-485.

Wasko, M. M., & Faraj, S. (2005). Why should I share? Examining social capital and knowledge contribution in electronic networks of practice. MIS quarterly, 29(1), 35-57.


9 thoughts on “What are you not telling me? Relationships and Disasters

    1. It’s interesting because word of mouth always seems to be what people come back to in the end, despite tv, radio, social media etc. Wonder what that says about us as a society.


  1. Well that depends I think on who you aim to vote for- I think with electoral stuff, people have extremely selective hearing unless it’s related to “their” candidate or they hate all of them equally and disbelieve everything. It’s a weird tossup, but that’s just what I think about it.


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