Motivational and knowledge barriers to in-house lawyers adopting good practices of others, internal and external

Management researchers have identified both motivational barriers and knowledge barriers to knowledge transfer. Within a law department of some size, the motivational barriers show up as competitive responses between senior lawyers, lack of economic incentives, resistance to change, and turf protection. In addition to these motivational obstacles, an article in the Acad. Mgt. J., Oct. 2003 at 680, describes what its authors call knowledge barriers. “Examples of knowledge barriers are the recipient’s level of knowledge prior to the transfer, the recipient’s ability to shed prior practices, and the pre-existing social ties between the source and the recipient.”

In other words, one lawyer who knows nothing about wikis can absorb a wiki’s advantages. Another lawyer loves Excel and can’t give it up for Access, and a lawyer readily experiments with something a friend finds useful.

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