Title

An Empirical Investigation of Factors Influencing IT Professionals’ Knowledge Sharing Behavior in Organizations

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Business Administration

Date of Defense

12-16-2019

Graduate Advisor

Kailash Joshi, PhD

Committee

Zolman, Bethany

Dinesh Mirchandani, Ph.D.

Ashok Subramanian, Ph.D.

Abstract

Knowledge management is important for competitive advantage in knowledge-based organizations. A critical aspect of managing knowledge is the knowledge sharing behavior of organizational members. A positive relationship between knowledge sharing and organizational performance has been widely supported in prior literature. The vast body of extant literature on knowledge sharing behavior has identified that individuals possess specialized knowledge which can be valuable to the organization, specifically when it is shared. Knowledge sharing behavior however is influenced by several factors which either facilitate or inhibit knowledge sharing among individuals in an organizational context. A better understanding and management of these factors would help organizations in realizing the expected benefits of knowledge sharing. Prior literature has examined the direct effects of several antecedents of knowledge sharing behavior utilizing rational or social theoretical perspectives. The interactional perspective, however, has received little attention in prior research. This approach recognizes the importance of better understanding how factors from diverse theoretical perspectives influence knowledge sharing behavior in organizations, since no single theoretical perspective can completely explain the phenomena. Several individual and contextual factors such as perceptions of equity, work group cohesiveness and emotional disposition are expected to influence individuals’ in sharing their specialized knowledge. However, the influence of these factors on knowledge sharing has not been investigated in prior literature. This study investigates the relationship between the presence of specialized knowledge and knowledge-sharing behavior under the influence of contextual factors. We developed a contingency model of knowledge sharing behavior drawing upon the factors identified from prior literature and empirically test the model using survey responses from IS professionals. The research provides useful insights into knowledge sharing behavior in organizations. We discuss the implications for research and practice and suggest directions for future research.

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