Titima Thumbumrung

Personal details


Name: Titima Thumbumrung
Email address: tthumbumrung1@sheffield.ac.uk
Location: Room 323, Regent Court


Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in Thailand which is often called the "land of smiles" because of its natural beauty, historical riches, fascinating culture, and the country's friendly people. Since I came to Sheffield in 2011, I have met a new and different world - studying and living wise. Through several years of studying and living in Sheffield I have gained great opportunities to practice and improve my knowledge, skills, and experiences, especially research skills and to open up new avenues. I am aware that intensive study in knowledge and information management is an advantage not only for me, but also for the knowledge management community.

What got you interested in this subject?

I have always been interested in knowledge and information management subjects and with a background in knowledge and information management I went on to study information management for my master’s degree. For my PhD, I intend to study leverage and sharing individuals’ knowledge from working across different disciplines in scientific and technological research institutions in public sector organisations especially in developing countries which have received less attention in the literature. I hope that my project will be useful for the knowledge management community at both individual and organisational levels.

What have you enjoyed about it?

I have really enjoyed improving my knowledge and experiences that I obtained through meeting and participating with friendly supervisors, students, and academic staff as well as attending academic activities which have been offered by the iSchool and the University.

What have you found most challenging?

You have to spend as much time as required to read and analyse any studies that relate to your study’s area. Thus, it is important to learn how to manage your time effectively and prioritise your tasks to keep things moving forward and make the project a success. Another challenge is trying to fill a hole on any questions and gaps which may be raised from your project.

What is your top tip for a future KIM student?

My top tip for future students is to continuously ask questions on your project and any that might be relevant to you and your project to encourage and keep learning.


Research interests

My main research interest lies with knowledge and information management, especially what are barriers and facilitators of sharing and integrating knowledge across diverse disciplinary or professional boundaries as well as how organisations may better leverage individuals’ knowledge from such situation in scientific and technological research institutions in the public sectors

Project title

Knowledge sharing across disciplinary boundaries in interdisciplinary scientific and technological research projects in research institutions in public sector organisations.

Project supervisor

Dr Ana Cristina Vasconelos, Dr Andrew Cox

Project description


The aims of this study are to investigate:

  • the interaction between different individuals and groups across diverse disciplinary boundaries;

  • how knowledge is shared across the boundaries;

  • barriers and facilitators of sharing knowledge across the boundaries; and

  • how organisations may better leverage individuals knowledge from working across different disciplines in science and technology research institutions in public sector organisations.

Positioning of research

The importance of collaboration across boundaries has been widely acknowledged as an important resource of learning as well as creating new knowledge and innovation. However, many researchers have not clearly identified what kinds of boundaries have been investigated. Also, there is no explicit, specific, and comprehensive definition of such boundaries. Focusing on knowledge sharing across disciplinary boundaries, most scholars suggest that different disciplines are determined, provided, and shared via different frameworks of knowledge, concept of theories, methods, techniques, and problems, languages, traditions and cultures in their field which their members are studied and trained. When the worlds of different actors from diverse disciplines intersect a difficulty appears. I found that the development and investigation of frameworks for sharing knowledge across knowledge boundaries have received less attention in the literature.
Although research on knowledge management and knowledge sharing between different disciplinary communities has been discussed, most of them have been addressed in the private sector with new product developments and in developed countries. The understanding of the interaction between diverse disciplinary communities, how knowledge is managed among different professional groups that are dependent on each other to achieve a collective goals, what are critical factors for knowledge sharing across such boundaries are still little presented in the public sector such as government research organisations in Eastern countries. It is not easy to transfer knowledge management and knowledge sharing tools, techniques, and philosophies from the private sector to the public sector and Western countries to Eastern countries directly because of the differences between both contexts.

Research design

The study will be based on a qualitative, case study approach, and mixed methodologies: observations, semi-structured face-to-face interviews, and document analysis. Research subjects include researchers, research assistants, cluster secretariats, program managers, project analysts, project managers who are related to interdisciplinary projects in the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), Thailand.

Anticipated outcomes

A better understanding of the interaction between groups of professionals, sharing and integrating knowledge across disciplinary boundaries, and important factors for sharing and integrating knowledge across the boundaries. This could help academic researchers and practitioners to understand and fill the gaps between individuals and communities to work, learn, or share and integrate knowledge with other communities in order to acquire needed knowledge to improve research performance and quality of their work to in order to achieve organisational goals, especially scientific and technological research institutions in public sector organisations in Eastern countries.

Project keywords

knowledge management, knowledge sharing, boundary spanning, crossing boundaries, disciplinary boundaries, multidisciplinary project, interdisciplinary project, disciplines, mixed method research, case study, qualitative methods, grounded theory



Master of Science (Major in Information Management), University of Sheffield, UK, 2012
Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours) majoring in Library and Information Science, Khon Kaen University, Thailand, 2004


In 2005, I was an intern at the Technical Information Access Centre (TIAC), an information service centre under the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), Thailand’s national research and development in science and technology (S&T) agency. TIAC was established in 1989 and funded by the United States Agency for International Development for the first two years, under the United States and the Royal Thai Government’ Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, where I was offered the present job right after completing my internship. I was employed to act as a librarian. My major responsibilities were research services, collection development, cataloguing and classifying materials, including database development and management.
Since 2008, I work as an information officer at Science and Technology Knowledge Services (STKS) formerly known as TIAC. STKS is the S&T learning centre to support and encourage discovery and exploration for research and learning of the research community by providing S&T information resources, developing databases, including managing information systems and library services. My responsibilities are managing S&T information and knowledge at organisational and national levels. Furthermore, I have participated in studying and developing open source software for information and knowledge management such as Koha for setting up the Thai Library Shared Services System. Also, I was a committee member of the NSTDA Knowledge Management Project and a knowledge auditor. I created standards for managing information such as NSTDA Taxonomy, NSTDA Subject Heading, and List of Corporate Names under the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Achievements and awards

  • An Excellent Student of Faculty of Humanities and Social Science from the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science, Khon Kaen University, 2001 and 2003
  • A scholar from a Royal Thai Government Scholarship to study a Master and PhD degree in Library and Information Science