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Knowledge sharing: influences of trust, commitment and cost

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PurposeThis paper's aim is to examine the influence of perceived cost of sharing knowledge and affective trust in colleagues on the relationship between affective commitment and knowledge sharing. Design/methodology/approachThe methodology used was a survey of 496 employees from 15 organizations across ten industries. FindingsAffective trust in colleagues moderates the relationship between affective commitment and knowledge sharing and the relationship between cost of knowledge sharing and knowledge sharing. Research limitations/implicationsFuture researchers should operationalize the perceived cost of knowledge sharing construct to include other potential group barriers; for instance, politics and organizational barriers, management commitment and lack of trust. Practical implicationsThe findings of this study suggest that employees who value social relationships and social resources tend to view knowledge as a collectively owned commodity. As such, their knowledge sharing behavior reflects the model of reciprocal social exchanges. Social implicationsThe results of this study indicate that an organizational culture that encourages affect-based trust between colleagues will facilitate knowledge sharing. Originality/valueThe paper bridges the gap between the literature on knowledge sharing, perceived cost of knowledge sharing, affective organizational commitment and trust in a single model.
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Keywords: Affective commitment; Knowledge sharing; Knowledge transfer; Perceived cost of knowledge sharing; Trust; Trust in colleagues

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 07 September 2012

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