Knowledge sharing is particularly associated with the threat of reputational damage (see Chapters 3 and 8 for detailed discussions), which suggests that knowledge sharing is a risky business. Recall David Schoorman and his colleagues’ multidimensional model of trust, with trust existing in relationships and contingent to perception of risk, a connection that was shown to be displayed in the analysis of trust discourse in Chapter 12. Now, whether or not one subscribes to this model, what can be argued from a commonsense standing is that people make routine evaluations of risk every day (e.g., Shall I have one more slice of toast before heading out to catch my bus? Shall I carry an umbrella in case it rains?), but what we rarely do is pause to calculate the affordable risk. Risk construction and assessment are, from this perspective, largely accomplished implicitly.

It is also argued that matters of stake, interest, and accountability are concerned with risk (see Chapter 8 for a brief discussion). Developing this idea, and central to the view of the organization, is the notion that people are motivated to act by goals, implying that actions are never entirely random. Consequently, as Andrea Whittle, of the Cardiff Business School, and her colleague conclude in their essay on the Language of Interests, people have stake and interest in actions that they orient to as being accountable. And, of ...

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