Determinants Of Knowledge Sharing Behaviors: Developing And Testing An Integrated Theoretical Model
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Knowledge sharing has been identified as the key enabler of knowledge management. To leverage knowledge resources and to support knowledge sharing, organizations are employing knowledge management systems. While knowledge management systems are important, practical implementations have found that technology alone cannot guarantee that knowledge will be shared. The objective of this research study was to examine factors that promote or discourage knowledge sharing behaviors of knowledge workers in the organizational context. Drawing from multiple streams of research including social psychology, organizational learning, knowledge management, information systems and so forth, this research developed an integrated theoretical model and unveiled three sets of critical factors: psychological, organizational and technological that are believed to affect the knowledge sharing behaviors. The posited theoretical model was validated using a field survey of knowledge workers. The results of the study provide empirical support for the overall structure theorized in the research model. 11 of the 12 hypothesized relationships were supported. Knowledge sharing behavior was predicted by the knowledge workers intention towards knowledge sharing and perceived behavioral control. Knowledge sharing intention in turn was predicted by knowledge workers attitude towards knowledge sharing, subjective norm and perceived behavioral control. The knowledge workers perceptions of reciprocity, reputation, enjoyment in helping others were positively associated with favorable attitude towards knowledge sharing. The perceptions of loss of knowledge power exerted a negative effect on the attitude. Organizational climate positively influenced knowledge workers subjective norm. Additionally, facilitating tools and technology was positively associated with high levels of perceived behavioral control towards knowledge sharing. Based on the findings, the study discussed implications for theory and practice. Overall, the results of the study advance prior research in the area of knowledge sharing by shedding light on the determinants of knowledge sharing behaviors of knowledge workers. In addition to contributing to theory, the findings of the study also yield insights for practice. These insights could be used by organizations in developing realistic environments that are conducive to knowledge sharing.