To share or not to share?

Frank Berkers, Gijs Hendrix, Ioanna Chatzicharistou, Thomas de Haas, Dominik Hamera
2010 2010 14th International Conference on Intelligence in Next Generation Networks  
Why are professional norms violated? Norm violations are usually attributed to individual interests that lead individuals to reject professional norms. In contrast, we take the view that norm violations can occur when professional norms are valued but it is difficult to ascertain the appropriate course of professional conduct. According to this view, individuals look to cues from their professional reference groups to help them resolve sociological ambivalence arising from conflicting role
more » ... tations. To test this argument, we examine the influence of professional reference groups on information withholding by scientists. In the scientific profession, information withholding violates the fundamental norm of sharing. Analyzing a dataset of 1849 geneticists and other life scientists from 100 U.S. universities, we find that beyond individual interests, information withholding is influenced by the behaviors of peers as well as the attitudes of superiors within the profession. The findings indicate that norm violations can occur even when professionals strive to understand and uphold standards of professional conduct rather than ignoring them. We discuss the implications for the professions literature, theories of organizational learning, and knowledge management initiatives in firms.
doi:10.1109/icin.2010.5640887 fatcat:47yihrdeijcyjoj36bhwp3caou