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Trust and Knowledge Sharing:
A Critical Combination

Daniel Z. Levin

Rutgers University

Rob Cross

Lisa C. Abrams

Eric L. Lesser

In Eric L. Lesser & Laurence Prusak (Eds.), 2004, Creating Value with Knowledge, pp.36-41. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


This chapter focuses on the importance of trust in supporting effective knowledge sharing, highlighting the importance of both competence and benevolence in developing trustworthy relationships with others. It discusses a survey of 138 employees from three companies: a division from a US pharmaceutical company, a division of a British bank, and a large group within a Canadian oil and gas company. All three groups were composed of people engaged in knowledge-intensive work. Respondents were asked to consider a recent project they had worked on, and to rate the usefulness of the knowledge they received from those whom they had sought out advice on that project. The results of the survey, which were similar across the three companies, identified some actionable recommendations for companies looking to share knowledge more effectively across their organizations.

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