Cognition, Technology & Work

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 105–124 | Cite as

Healthcare knowledge sharing among a community of specialized physicians

  • Zaid Sabeeh
  • SMFD Syed Mustapha
  • Roshayu Mohamad
Original Article


Healthcare organizations strive to make the best use of their organizational knowledge. The collective know-hows of the medical workers directly affect the quality of the delivered healthcare services. This study addresses the healthcare knowledge-sharing among a community of specialized physicians. An extensive study of the literature on knowledge-sharing in industries generally and healthcare organizations specifically were presented. Six focal elements were detected in previous attempts to address the knowledge-sharing status in healthcare organizations. Additionally, three previous models for healthcare knowledge management were analyzed. The studied literature along with the three studied models helped in constructing the framework and suggesting a suitable research methodology for primary data collection. Qualitative approach of in-depth interview technique was used for interviewing eight specialized physicians. The data collected from the interviewees were then analyzed and produced explanatory themes and codes. These themes are physicians’ acquisition of medical knowledge, staff participating in the knowledge sharing, knowledge-sharing culture, ICT-based knowledge sharing and top management involvement. The findings resulted in recognizing four considerations which ought to be taken into account for successful knowledge-sharing activities and learning initiatives in the healthcare organization. Conclusions and recommendations for future studies were presented based on the implications of this research study.


Healthcare knowledge Medical knowledge Healthcare knowledge sharing Physicians’ knowledge 


  1. Abdullah S, Haron H (2014) Knowledge sharing system model for higher learning institutions: case study. In: Proceedings—2013 international conference on advanced computer science applications and technologies, IEEE Computer Society, ACSAT (2013), pp 97–102Google Scholar
  2. Adler-Milstein J, Daniel G, Grossmann C, Mulvany C, Nelson R, Pan E, Rohrbach V, Perlin J (2014) Return on information: a standard model for assessing institutional return on electronic health records. National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, Washington, DC, pp 1–21Google Scholar
  3. Adolfsson V, Aneheim E (2016) Organizational culture and its significance for knowledge sharing-a case study on a psychiatric health care organization. Thesis, School of Economics and Management. Lund University, SwedenGoogle Scholar
  4. Ahlan A, Ahmad B (2015) An overview of patient acceptance of health information technology in developing countries: A review and conceptual model. Int J Inf Syst Project Manage 3(1):29–48Google Scholar
  5. Alajmi B, Marouf L, Chaudhry A (2015) Knowledge management (KM) practices-a study of KM adoption among doctors in Kuwait. Int J Soc Behav Educ Econ Manag Eng 9(1):128–134Google Scholar
  6. Alawaad A (2015) Examining the employment relationship in UK higher education in a managerialist era. Thesis, Surrey Business School, University of Surrey, UKGoogle Scholar
  7. Alsam U, Rehman C, Imran M (2016) Intelligence and managerial performance: an interactive role of knowledge sharing culture. Pak Bus Rev 18(3):598–617Google Scholar
  8. Andersson R, Eriksson H, Torstensson H (2006) Similarities and differences between TQM, six sigma and lean. TQM Mag 18(3):282–296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Andreeva T, Kianto A (2012) Does knowledge management really matter? Linking knowledge management practices, competitiveness and economic performance. J Knowl Manag 16(4):617–636CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Araujo C, Tavares E, de Vargas E, Rocha E (2015) Developing learning capabilities through a quality management program. Serv Ind J 35(9):483–498CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bali R, Baskaran V, Arochena H, Naguib R (2009) Implementation of a breast cancer screening prediction algorithm: a knowledge management approach. Biomedical Computing and Engineering Technologies (BIOCORE), Applied Research Group, Coventry University, Coventry, p 23Google Scholar
  12. Barreiro P, Albandoz J (2001) Population and sample: sampling techniques. Management Mathematics for European Schools, MaMaEusch.
  13. Bartlett JA (2016) Creating a knowledge infrastructure: KM in libraries. Libr Leadersh Manag 30(3):1–3Google Scholar
  14. Bay B, Benveniste S, Beuscart-Zephir M-C, Duclos A, Janalhiac M-P, Jégou G, Lewkowicz M, Pingaud H, Vigouroux N (2017) In: Picard R (ed) Co-design: methodologies for investigating, developing and sharing knowledge in view of new solutions for future use, in co-design in living labs for healthcare and independent living: concepts, methods and tools. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA.
  15. Blandford A, Berndt E, Catchpole K, Furniss D, Mayer A, Mentis H, O’Kane A, Owen T, Rajkomar A, Randell R (2015) Strategies for conducting situated studies of technology use in hospitals. Cognit Technol Work 17(4):489–502CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Campbell W, Olsen LA, Miften M, Goodman KA, Schefter T, Jones BL (2017) Using machine learning to predict physician-approved dose distributions for pancreatic SBRT. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 99(2):S174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Carron T, Talbot S (2014) Industrial knowledge assessment for capitalization purpose via learning techniques. World Appl Sci J 31:28–35Google Scholar
  18. Charlet J, Bachimont B, Jaulent M (2006) Building medical ontologies by terminology extraction from texts: an experiment for the intensive care units. Comput Biol Med 36(7):857–870CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Chen Y (2014) The implementations of professional learning communities (PLCs) in Beijing and Ontario Schools. Thesis, Faculty of Education, Brock University, Accessed 4 June 2017
  20. Chuang C, Jackson S, Jiang Y (2016) Can knowledge-intensive teamwork be managed? Examining the roles of HRM systems, leadership, and tacit knowledge. J Manag 42(2):524–554Google Scholar
  21. Chugh R (2015) Do Australian universities encourage tacit knowledge transfer? In: Fred A, Dietz J, Aveiro D, Liu K, Filipe J (eds) Proceedings of the 7th international joint conference on knowledge discovery, knowledge engineering and knowledge management, 12-14 November, Lisbon, Portugal.
  22. Crass D, Peters B (2014) Intangible assets and firm-level productivity. ZEW-Cent Eur Econ Res, pp 14–120.
  23. Creswell J (2012) Educational research: planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative, 4th edn. Pearson Education Inc., BostonGoogle Scholar
  24. Dali H, Shaalan K (2016) Knowledge sharing through e-government portal. In: The 11th international knowledge management in organizations conference, Hagen, Germany, (July, 2016), pp 1–8Google Scholar
  25. Delak B (2016) The information system mirror approach and knowledge management maturity assessment. Online J Appl Knowl Manag Publ Int Inst Appl Knowl Manag 4(2):29–43Google Scholar
  26. Dhombres F, Maurice P, Friszer S, Guilbaud L, Lelong N, Khoshnood B, Charlet J, Perrot N, Jauniaux E, Jurkovic D, Jouannic J (2017) Developing a knowledge base to support the annotation of ultrasound images of ectopic pregnancy. J Biomed Semant 8(1):1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Etikan I, Musa S, Alkassim R (2016) Comparison of convenience sampling and purposive sampling. Am J Theor Appl Stat 5(1):1–4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Fauzi A, Anshari M (2016) Performance measurement of project management by using FANP balanced scorecard. J Theor Appl Inf Technol 83(2):262–269Google Scholar
  29. Flottorp S, Oxman A, Krause J, Musila N, Wensing M, Godycki-Cwirko M, Baker R, Eccles M (2013) A checklist for identifying determinants of practice: A systematic review and synthesis of frameworks and taxonomies of factors that prevent or enable improvements in healthcare professional practice. J Implementation Sci 8(35):1–11Google Scholar
  30. Francois R, Matta N, Hassan A (2014) Discovering problem-solving knowledge in business emails—traceability in software design using computer mediated communication. In: Proceedings of the international conference on knowledge management and information sharing KMIS (IC3K 2014), pp 186–193Google Scholar
  31. Gaál Z, Szabó L, Obermayer-Kovács N (2014) Personal knowledge sharing: web 2.0 role through the lens of generations. In: Proceedings of 15th European conference on knowledge management (ECKM 2014), School of Management and Technology - Polytechnic Institute of Santarem, Portugal, pp 362–370Google Scholar
  32. Gattnar E, Schneider J, Stroetmann B, Ekinci O (2015) Knowledge management and collaboration–analysis of the siemens healthcare consulting group. Recent advances in telecommunications, informatics and educational technologies, pp 22–26. ISBN: 978-1-61804-262-0Google Scholar
  33. Gavrilova T, Andreeva T (2012) Knowledge elicitation techniques in a knowledge management context. J Knowl Manag 16(4):523–537CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Gebretsadik T, Mirutse G, Tadesse K, Terefe W (2014) Knowledge sharing practice and its associated factors of healthcare professionals of public hospitals, Mekelle, Northern Ethiopia. Am J Health Res 2(5):241–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Geuna A, Fassio C, Rossi F (2014) The contribution of academic knowledge to the value of industrial inventions: micro level evidence from patent inventors. In: DRUID society conference 2014, CBS, Copenhagen, June 16–18, pp 1–38Google Scholar
  36. Ghorbian A, Saffari S (2016) The impact of organizational memory on knowledge sharing: mediating role of organizational learning (case study: radio communications and regulations organization). Asian J Res Bus Econ Manag 6(7):10–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Given L (2008) The sage encyclopedia of qualitative research methods. Sage Publications, Thousand OaksCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Gleasure R, O’Riordan S (2016) Exploring hidden influences on users’ decision-making: a feature-lesioning technique to assist design thinking. J Decis Syst 25(4):292–308CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Golbreich C, Zhang S, Bodenreider O (2006) The foundational model of anatomy in OWL: experience and perspectives. J Web Seman 4(3):181–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Grönvall E, Kyng M (2013) On participatory design of home-based healthcare. Cogn Technol Work 15(4):389–401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Guest G, Bunce A, Johnson L (2006) How many interviews are enough? An experiment with data saturation and variability. Field Methods 18(1):59–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Gunduz S (2016) Knowledge management in esoteric management. In: 2nd international conference on advances in education and social sciences, Istanbul, Turkey, (October, 2016), pp 273–277Google Scholar
  43. Guo Y, Bai G, Eriksén S (2017) Activity theory based ontology model for efficient knowledge sharing in eHealth. E-Health Telecommun Syst Netw 6(02):31–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Ha N, Yen K, Hsiao M (2009) A study on knowledge sharing in vietnamese organizations. In: The 9th international conference on electronic business, Macau, (November 30–December 4, 2009), pp 653–660Google Scholar
  45. Hamouda I, Chourabi O, Boughzala I (2016) An ontological framework for knowledge sharing in healthcare. Gestión Del Conocimiento 14(26):123–132Google Scholar
  46. Heart Foundation (2016) Innovative proposals to tackle our most costly disease group: heart disease and stroke. the 2016-17 federal budget report from the heart foundation and the National Stroke Foundation, Australia, Accessed 26 May 2017
  47. Hezarkhani A (2014) The relationship between knowledge management and organizational forgetting. Int J Basic Sci Appl Res 3(10):747–755Google Scholar
  48. Hu Y, Ke J, Guo Z, Wen J (2015) Relationship between intangible capital, knowledge and maintenance performance in a PSS network: an empirical investigation. In: Proceedings of the 7th industrial product-service systems conference, Saint-Etienne, France, vol 30, pp 378–383Google Scholar
  49. Hustad E, Kydland F, Aakre M (2014) Knowledge management in an academic context: a framework for successful intranet 2.0 implementation. In: European conference on knowledge management, academic conferences international limited, vol 2, pp 444–454Google Scholar
  50. Hutting N (2015) Effectiveness of a self-management program for employees with complaints of the arm, neck and/or shoulder. Thesis, Radboud University medical center, Radboud Institute for Health Sciences, NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  51. Imamoglu S, Ince H, Karakose M (2016) The effect of potential absorptive capacity and innovation on competitive advantage: a model from participative leadership perspective. J Glob Strateg Manag 10(1):43–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Ingari B, Ali I (2017) Inter-firm knowledge sharing strategies to ensure successful public outsourcing in Kenyan county governments. Int J Sci Res Publ 7(2):361–377Google Scholar
  53. Jansen M, Van Oers J, Middelweerd M, Van de Goor L, Ruwaard D (2015) Conditions for sustainability of academic collaborative centres for public health in the netherlands: a mixed methods design. Health Res Policy Syst 13(1):1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Kaushik A (2013) Sailing safe in cyberspace: protect your identity and data. SAGE Publications, Thousand OaksGoogle Scholar
  55. Khammarnia M, Shahsavani F, Shahrakipour M, Barfar E (2014) Relationship between knowledge management and quality of working life in nursing staff of zahedan teaching hospitals. Health Scope Educ 15(19):8–6Google Scholar
  56. Kharabsheh R, Bittel N, Elnsour W, Bettoni M, Bernhard W (2016) A comprehensive model of knowledge sharing. In: European conference on knowledge management academic conferences international limited, pp 454–461Google Scholar
  57. Khoza L, Pretorius A (2017) Factors negatively influencing knowledge sharing in software development. S Afr J Inf Manag 19(1):1–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Knauth D, Meinerz E (2015) Reflections on sharing data from healthcare anthropological studies. Ciência & Saúde Coletiva 20(9):2659–2666.
  59. Kolias V, Stoitsis J, Golemati S, Nikita K (2014) Utilizing semantic web technologies in healthcare. In: Koutsouris DD, Lazakidou A (eds) Concepts and trends in healthcare information systems. Annals of information systems, vol 16. Springer, ChamGoogle Scholar
  60. Lage E, Alturas B (2012) Factors influencing information sharing in four SME networks in Portugal - a coordination perspective. BT - KMIS 2012 - Proceedings of the international conference on knowledge management and information sharing, Barcelona, SpainGoogle Scholar
  61. Lau F (2004) Toward a conceptual knowledge management framework in health. Perspect Health Inf Manag 1(8):1–11Google Scholar
  62. LSHC Life Sciences and Health Care at Deloitte (2016). Global healthcare outlook battling costs while improving care. Industry Group analysis of The World Health Organization, Retrieved from
  63. Manus P (2016) Examining the factors to knowledge sharing within an organizational context, Thesis, Irish Academy of Management, DublinGoogle Scholar
  64. Marchan E, Jallo J, Rincon F, Vibbert M (2010) The Intensivist. JHN J 5(2):20–22Google Scholar
  65. Marcus R, Ellen P (2003) Analyzing qualitative data. University of Wisconsin, MadisonGoogle Scholar
  66. Marouf L (2015) Employee perception of the knowledge sharing culture in Kuwaiti companies: effect of demographic characteristics. Int J LIBERS 25(2):103–118Google Scholar
  67. Marsilio M, Torbica A, Villa S (2017) Health care multidisciplinary teams: the sociotechnical approach for an integrated system-wide perspective. Health Care Manag Rev 42(4):303–314CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Matshwane O (2015) Knowledge management in the IT outsourcing service industry of South Africa: a case of Western Cape and Gauteng Provinces. Thesis, Cape Peninsula University of TechnologyGoogle Scholar
  69. MedScape (2017) Knowledge source for healthcare professionals,
  70. Muinde C, Lewa P, Kamau J (2016) The influence of top management support on knowledge sharing during the implementation of ERP systems in Kenya. Int J Bus Manag 4(7):121–129Google Scholar
  71. Murphy L (2012) The value of clinical trials: a New Zealand case study. Thesis, School of Accounting and Corporate Governance, University of Tasmania, AustralGoogle Scholar
  72. Mutlu M (2015) Driver factors of knowledge worker team innovation. In: International proceedings of economics development and research, IACSIT Press, Singapore, vol 85, pp 131–137Google Scholar
  73. Nam T (2015) Critical success factors of knowledge management system in Vietnam. Int J Bus Econ Res 4(6):323–327CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Nonaka I (1994) A dynamic theory of organizational knowledge creation. Organ Sci 5(1):14–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Obeso M, Luengo-Valderrey M (2016) Analyzing a knowledge country—how is Sweden managing its innovation process? In: Proceedings of the 8th international joint conference on knowledge discovery, knowledge engineering and knowledge management and international conference on knowledge management and information sharing KMIS (IC3K 2016), vol 3, pp 124–131Google Scholar
  76. Pham C, Matta N, Durupt A, Eynard B, Allanic M, Ducellier G, Joliot M, Boutinaud P (2015) Sharing knowledge in daily activity: application in bio-imaging. In: Proceedings of the 7th international conference on knowledge management and information sharing KMIS (IC3K 2015), pp 242–247Google Scholar
  77. Platis C, Reklitis P, Zimeras S (2015) Relation between job satisfaction and job performance in healthcare services. Proc Social Behav Sci 1(175):480–487CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Razmerita L, Kirchner K, Nielsen P (2016) What factors influence knowledge sharing in organizations? A social dilemma perspective of social media communication. J Knowl Manag 20(6):1225–1246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Rexhepi H (2015) Improving healthcare information systems—a key to evidence-based medicine. Thesis, University of Skövde, SwedenGoogle Scholar
  80. Robinson KK (2016) What have we learned from the departures of female superintendents?. J Women Educ Leadersh 72:1–29.
  81. Rodrigues H, Gupta P, Carlson R (2015) Exploiting intellectual capital for economic renewal. Int J Innov Sci 7(1):13–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Rossi F, Rosli A (2013) Indicators of university-industry knowledge transfer performance and their implications for universities: evidence from the UK’s HE-BCI survey. Center for Innovation Management Research, Birkbeck, University of London, LondonGoogle Scholar
  83. Sabeeh Z, Syed Mustapha SMFD, Mohamad R (2016) A review of three models for knowledge management in healthcare organizations. In: Knowledge Management International Conference (KMICe), 29–30 August 2016, Chiang Mai, ThailandGoogle Scholar
  84. Sarkheyli A, Alias R, Carlsson S, Kajtazi M (2016) Conceptualizing knowledge risk governance as a moderator to potentially reduce the risks in knowledge sharing. In: Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems, 2016 Association for information Systems, AIS Electronic Library (AISeL), vol 153, pp 1–14Google Scholar
  85. Scandura A (2015) Essays on university-industry knowledge transfer. Thesis, London School of Economics, LondonGoogle Scholar
  86. Schmidt T, Wiil U (2015) Identifying patients at risk of deterioration in the joint emergency department. Cogn Technol Work 17(4):529–545CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Sediri M, Matta N, Loriette S, Hugerot A (2013) Decision support by handling experience feedback of crisis situations. In: Proceedings of the international conference on knowledge management and information sharing KMIS (IC3K 2013), pp 351–359Google Scholar
  88. Shenton A (2004) Strategies for ensuring trustworthiness: qualitative research projects division of information and communication studies. School of Informatics Northumbria University, Newcastle upon TyneGoogle Scholar
  89. Siciliano G, Tutterow V, Reyes P (2013) Recommendations on job-specific knowledge and skill areas for energy management system implementation in industry and commercial buildings: results from a global superior energy performance multi-country analysis. In: ACEEE summer study on energy efficiency in industry, pp 1–12.
  90. Silva MJ, Chaves T, Simoes B (2015) An ontology-based approach for SNOMED CT translation. In: Proceedings of the international conference on biomedical ontology, Lisbon, Portugal, pp 1–5.
  91. Sokolov M, Nguyen V, Neumann R (2015) Comparative analysis of whole-genome gene expression changes in cultured human embryonic stem cells in response to low, clinical diagnostic relevant, and high doses of ionizing radiation exposure. Int J Mol Sci 16(7):14737–14748CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Soualmia L, Charlet J (2016) Efficient results in semantic interoperability for health care. IMIA Yearb 10(1):184–187Google Scholar
  93. Strauss A, Corbin J (1990) Basics of qualitative research: grounded theory procedures and techniques, 1st edn. Sage, Newbury ParkGoogle Scholar
  94. Stylianou V, Savva A (2016) Investigating the knowledge management culture. Univers J Educ Res 4(7):1515–1521CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Syysnummi P, Laihonen H (2014) Top management’s perception of knowledge management in a vocational education and training organization in Finland. Int J Educ Manag 28(1):53–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. Tahamtan I, Sedghi S (2014) Perceived benefits and barriers of handheld computers in clinical practice. Health Scope, November 2014, International Neuroscience Institute 3(4):1–4.
  97. Tixier M, Lewkowicz M (2015) Looking for respite and support: technological opportunities for spousal caregivers. In: Proceedings of the 33rd annual ACM conference on human factors in computing systems, pp 1155–1158Google Scholar
  98. Trivellas P, Akrivouli Z, Tsifora E, Tsoutsa P (2014) The impact of knowledge sharing culture on job satisfaction in accounting firms: the mediating effect of general competencies. In: Proceedings of economics and finance, the economies of Balkan and Eastern Europe Countries, vol 19, pp 238–247Google Scholar
  99. Tukamuhabwa B (2011) A conceptual model for explaining supply chain performance in Uganda’s SMEs. Inf Manag Bus Rev 3(6):336–344Google Scholar
  100. Vieru D, Arduin P (2016) Sharing knowledge in a shared services center context: an explanatory case study of the dialectics of formal and informal practices. In: 10th global sourcing workshop, France, (February, 2016), pp 19–39Google Scholar
  101. Wickramasinghe N (2010) Healthcare knowledge management: incorporating the tools technologies strategies and process of KM to effect superior healthcare delivery. In: Gibbons MC, Bali R, Wickramasinghe N (eds) Perspectives of knowledge management in urban health. Healthcare delivery in the information age, vol. 1, pp 21–38. Springer, NY.
  102. Williams A (2015) Soft skills perceived by students and employers as relevant employability skills. Thesis, Walden University, Accessed 22 May 2017
  103. Woensel W, Hassanzadeh H, Abidi S, Abidi S, Abidi R (2015) Multi-strategy semantic web reasoning for medical knowledge bases. In: Proceedings of international workshop on biomedical data mining, modeling, and semantic integration: a promising approach to solving unmet medical needs (BDM2I2015) co-located with The International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC 2015), Bethlehem, USGoogle Scholar
  104. Wong C, Hogan D (2016) Care transitions: using narratives to assess continuity of care provided to older patients after hospital discharge. Cana Geriatr J 19(3):97–102Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zaid Sabeeh
    • 1
  • SMFD Syed Mustapha
    • 2
  • Roshayu Mohamad
    • 3
  1. 1.School of ICTAsia e UniversityKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.Computer Science DepartmentTaif UniversityTaifKingdom of Saudi Arabia
  3. 3.Faculty of Computing and Information TechnologyUniversity of JeddahJeddahKingdom of Saudi Arabia

Personalised recommendations