We wished to determine how the process of knowledge sharing could be managed, seeing that it is a knowledge management dilemma. If knowledge sharing is crucial to an organization's interests, but is inherently emergent in nature, how can the organization still manage the process? In order to answer this question, a distinction was made between two approaches towards managing knowledge sharing: an emergent approach, focusing on the social dynamics between organizational members and the nature of their daily tasks, and an engineering approach, focusing on management interventions to facilitate knowledge transfer. While the first is central to today's thinking about knowledge, we used a field study in six organizations to show that both approaches have value in explaining knowledge sharing. Instruments that are part of the engineering approach create conditions for variables in the emergent approach, which in turn also exert a direct influence on knowledge sharing. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.