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The influence of employee motivation on knowledge transfer

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PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation as determinants of the employees' knowledge transfer in the context of a Spanish non-profit organization (named Asprona). Design/methodology/approachA case study method was used to analyze a Spanish non-profit organization (Asprona). In this context, a qualitative and quantitative analysis with a sample of 76 people was performed using the partial least squares approach (PLS), in order to test the research hypotheses. FindingsThe research findings show that, in Asprona, knowledge transfer improves through intrinsic motivation, however extrinsic motivation is not significant on knowledge transfer. This result is interesting bearing in mind that people are involved with a non-profit organization due to intrinsic reasons rather than for financial rewards. Research limitations/implicationsThis research is focused on one organization ‐ Asprona's assistance area ‐ and recommendations to other non-profit organizations must, therefore, be very cautious. Practical implicationsBesides the importance to promote knowledge transfer through intrinsic motivation in non-profit organizations, the authors recommend managers to design the mechanisms to convert tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge, to guarantee that knowledge remains in the organization. Also, the authors consider that managers in profit organizations can find these suggestions useful in their context, due to the organization's commitment that is created by means of intrinsic motivation. Originality/valueFew empirical studies have been developed in the non-profit sector, even though it has an important economical and social role in society.

Keywords: Knowledge transfer; Motivation (psychology); Voluntary organizations

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-10-23

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