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A unified model of knowledge sharing behaviours: theoretical development and empirical test

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Research and practice on knowledge management (KM) have shown that information technology alone cannot guarantee that employees will volunteer and share knowledge. While previous studies have linked motivational factors to knowledge sharing (KS), we took a further step to thoroughly examine this theoretically and empirically. We developed a unified model that is comprehensive and yet parsimonious, based on the decomposed theory of planned behaviour (DTPB) with three sets of critical antecedents: psychological, organisational and technological that are theorised to influence KS behaviours. Results of a field survey of knowledge workers support the majority of hypothesised relationships, and explained 41.3% of the variance in the actual KS behaviours and 60.8% of the variance in the intention to share knowledge. These results far exceed the predictive powers achieved by previous studies. Among our significant findings include a strong positive influence of perceived enjoyment in helping others (PEH) and a strong negative influence of perceived loss of knowledge power (PLK). Based on the findings, we discussed the study's implications for research and practice.

Keywords: decomposed theory of planned behaviour; extrinsic motivators; intrinsic motivators; knowledge management; knowledge sharing; planned behaviours

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Computer Information Systems,Texas A&M University Central Texas, Killeen,TX,76549, USA 2: Department of Information Systems and Operations Management, College of Business,University of Texas at Arlington, P.O. Box 19437Arlington,TX,76019, USA

Publication date: 2012-11-01

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