Knowledge sharing for sustainable development: An examination of practices in local-level NGOs in Tamil Nadu, India
VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations
School of Business and Law
This study examines the knowledge sharing (KS) practices of local-level non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Operating at the coalface of sustainable development, these NGOs often struggle for survival due to their relatively small size, limited resources, fluid organizational structures, and reliance on specific individuals. Because KS has the potential to offset some of these shortcomings, better understanding the current KS practices and challenges of these less studied NGOs is important to improve their longevity and sustain the impact they have on the communities they serve. Using interview data from local-level NGOs in Tamil Nadu, India, we established that KS mainly happens on a situational, ad hoc basis when opportunities and possibilities align. The main barriers to more structural ways for KS to occur at the local-level were found to arise from the predominantly voluntary makeup of the workforce as well as the differences in operational styles between the various local-level NGOs. As such, this study concludes that local-level NGOs seem to lack an organizational capacity to institutionalize KS in their existing networks and we offer several recommendations for local-level NGOs to harness the potential benefits of KS more fully.