2. Information Sharing and Knowledge Sharing as Communicative
Information sharing and knowledge sharing are closely related concepts that are often used interchangeably. The term information sharing is preferred in library and information science in particular, while researchers coming from fields such as management science, strategic management, and human-computer interaction favour the term knowledge sharing in general, information sharing can be understood as ‘a set of activities by which information is provided to others, either proactively or upon request, such that the information has an impact on another person’s (or persons’) image of the world … and creates a shared, or mutually compatible working, understanding of the world’ (Sonnenwald, 2006).
Thus defined, the process of information sharing incorporates two major aspects, i.e., giving information to others, and receiving information that has been provided by the information giver. Similar processes are characteristics of knowledge sharing. Knowledge sharing presumes an act of externalisation by those that have knowledge, that is, knowledge owners. Externalisation can take many forms, for example, codifying knowledge in a written document or explaining the meaning of an idea in a lecture. Knowledge sharing also presumes an act of internalisation by those acquiring knowledge, that is, knowledge reconstructors. Internalisation may also occur in many different forms, including learning by doing and reading books, for example.
The above characterisations suggest that both information sharing and knowledge sharing exemplify forms of human communication. Information giving and knowledge externalisation, as well as information reception and knowledge internalisation, require communicative activities such as information transfer from senders to recipients or exchange of knowledge between knowledge owners and knowledge reconstructors.
Source: Information Sharing and Knowledge Sharing as Communicative Activities