An exploration of school counselors’ knowledge sharing practices using diffusion of innovation theory, social exchange theory, and theory of reasoned action.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Adria E. Shipp (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
James Benshoff

Abstract: School counselors are expected to be advocates, collaborators, consultants, and leaders in their work with students, families, administrators, school staff, and community based stakeholders (ASCA, 2005; Shoffner & Briggs, 2001; Rowley, 2000). Underlying these expectations is the belief that school counselors are knowledgeable in the areas that allow them to fulfill these professional roles effectively. Knowledge seems to be a foundation of school counselors’ work. Despite the inclusion of knowledge in discussions of school counselor training (CACREP, 2009) and role expectations (Scarborough & Culbreth, 2008), school counselors’ knowledge, as an isolated construct has not been investigated thus far in the school counseling literature.

Three main theories related to knowledge sharing were used as a starting point for discussing school counselors’ knowledge sharing practices: diffusion of innovation theory (Rogers, 1962), social exchange theory (Homans, 1958), and theory of reasoned action (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975). These theories were not intended to be tested nor applied as a result of this particular study. Instead findings will be reported that seem to coincide with these three theories, as well as finding that seem to differ from these theories’ explanations of knowledge sharing.

Seven individual interviews were conducted with practicing school counselors to collect data about school counselors’ knowledge sharing experiences. A focus group of six school counselors served a stability check. Consensual Qualitative Research (CQR)was utilized as this study’s methodology. Eight domains surfaced as a result of the interviews: 1) benefits and outcomes of knowledge sharing, 2) consequences of nonsharing of knowledge, 3) factors that influence knowledge sharing, 4) reasons for sharing knowledge, 5) knowledge sharing behaviors, 6) knowledge sharing content, 7) who knowledge is shared with, and 8) technology used for knowledge sharing purposes. The implications of these research findings can be applied to school counselors, but also extend beyond school counselors to include the larger counselor education community, as well as educational leaders.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2010
consensual qualitative research, diffusion of innovation, knowledge, knowledge-sharing, school counseling, theory of reasoned action
Student counselors $x Attitudes.
Student counselors $x In-service training.
Student counselors $x Knowledge and learning.

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