Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 18 Number 1 2001 pp. 151-183

Exploring Perceptions of Organizational Ownership of Information and Expertise

Jarvenpaa, Sirkka L and Staples, D Sandy

ABSTRACT: Beliefs of organizational ownership relate to whether information and knowledge created by an individual knowledge worker are believed to be owned by the organization. Beliefs about property rights affect information and knowledge sharing. This study explored factors that help determine an individual's beliefs about the organizational ownership of information and expertise that he or she has created. Four different situations of organizational ownership (information vs. expertise/internal vs. external sharing) were considered. The study found that a belief in self-owner-ship was positively associated with organizational ownership-suggesting a collaborative type of ownership situation for both information and expertise and for both internal (intraorganizational) and external (interorganizational) sharing situations. Organizational culture and the type of employee also influenced the beliefs of organizational ownership in all four scenarios. We conclude the paper with implications for practice and future research.

Key words and phrases: information sharing, knowledge management, organizational culture, ownership of information