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The main objective for selecting a particular problem is to look for a solution that aims at solving it. Most organizations have suffered huge financial losses because of ignoring particular problems that affect their operations. I have decided not to ignore the problem of knowledge hoarding that affects our investment team since I am confident that our success depends on its solution. Investment ideas in our team have been weak since members fear that the ideas that they may raise will not be considered. This has caused poor coordination among members of team.
A number of questions have risen from this problem. One of the questions is whether I am the reason that causes the members of our team to hoard information about any potential investment ideas that they may have. In addition, I wonder whether the change of leadership style that I chose to adopt could be the reason that has caused members of my team to hoard knowledge. I decided to start using participative leadership style during all our meetings. However, the members of our team have not adapted to this form of leadership style. I also wonder whether the culture of our organization could be one of the factors that have motivated employees in our investment team to hoard any particular knowledge that they may have. In light of these questions, I asked myself whether I could rely on previous literature written by other scholars on knowledge hoarding. However, the problem of the widening gap of research defined by Kiesner and Liener (2009) made me wonder whether I could comfortably rely on the data collected by previous researchers. In some instances, the evidence collected by scientific studies is not applicable in management research and this shows that the data that previous researchers might have obtained may fail to fit the problem of knowledge hoarding that is prevalent in our organization.
Question setting is very critical in the process of action learning. During question setting, a researcher is able to identify any facts that he or she might have ignored during the initial framing of the problem. This helps the researcher formulate strong research that covers all the areas that he/she may want to study. I decided to take an ethnographic methodology while setting my research question. In ethnography, the researcher mainly concentrates on researching a particular problem that is prevalent in a certain group sharing the same culture (Creswell, 2013). The main reason that I decided to take ethnographic methodology is that I felt the problem of knowledge hoarding is caused by our organization culture. If I am able to identify the weaknesses that are in our organization culture, I will be able to strategize ways I can adopt to help motivate the members of my investment team to share any knowledge that they may have. I will also use inductive approach while setting the questions for my research.
I will collect data for my study from personal interviews conducted on the members of our investment team. The main reason that I chose to use personal interviews to help me collect data for my research is that it will help me to get first hand information from the interviewees (Easterby-Smith, Thorpe and Jackson, 2012). This will help me avoid any issues that I may face due to relying on data collected by previous researchers. In addition, I will be able to gauge the responses given by the members of our investment team using personal interviews. All the interviews will be private. The main aim of adopting this approach is to ascertain that the responses given by the interviewees is not influenced by the responses that the other interviewees may have given. I will involve the top management team of our organization while doing this research. This is because I believe that the solution of this problem is critical for the success of our organization and not just the success of our investment team. I will also involve all the employees by asking them to give their suggestions on how knowledge hoarding in our organization can be improved. This will give them morale to participate in the research that I will conduct (Shah & Corley, 2006).
I aim to search for all the factors that motivate the members of our investment team to hoard knowledge. In addition, I also want to find out the things that will make our employees change their culture of knowledge hoarding so that they are free to share any knowledge that they may have. If I am able to collect relevant data regarding this issue, I believe I will be able to improve teamwork in our investment team. This will increase productivity of our team.