The Organization of Knowledge Sharing at the Colorado Music Festival
Knowledge sharing is a challenging process, especially in seasonal organizational settings, which are characterized by periodic and repetitive patterns in terms of business activity. As the literature provides little insight into knowledge sharing strategies in recurrently changing situations, the authors studied this process in an archetypal seasonal organization, the Colorado Music Festival (CMF), a classical music event. Festivals are characterized by (a) a limited number of staff who work year round and who need to develop and store relevant knowledge, and (b) seasonal staff who join for the festival season and who need to obtain and use knowledge quickly and efficiently. The authors content analyzed interviews with members of different organizational groups at the CMF. The results show that informal and flexible structures, depending on the level of participation of staff members based on their commitment, involvement, responsibility and seniority, are a promising approach to the sharing of knowledge with new and seasonal members. Informal ways of disseminating knowledge are discussed in the literature on “communities of practice”; using these strategies in a systematic way might provide a means for organizing knowledge sharing in seasonal settings such as festivals.