Knowledge Sharing in Non-Knowledge Intensive Organizations: When Social Networks Do Not Matter?
44 Pages Posted: 31 May 2011
Date Written: May 13, 2011
Considerable attention has been paid to the network determinants of knowledge sharing. However, most, if not all, of the studies investigating the determinants of knowledge sharing are either focused on knowledge-intensive organizations such as consultancy firms or R&D organizations, or knowledge workers in regular organizations, while lesser knowledge intensive organizations or non-knowledge workers are rarely explored. This is a gap in the literature on social networks and knowledge sharing. In this paper, the relations between network determinants and actor determinants of knowledge sharing are empirically tested by means of a network survey in a less knowledge intensive organization, specifically employees of a Dutch department store chain. The results show that individual-level variables such as departmental commitment and enjoyment in helping others are the major determinants of individuals’ knowledge sharing behavior, but none of the social network variables play a role. The results thus present an important boundary condition to social networks effects on knowledge sharing: social networks only seem to play a role in knowledge sharing for knowledge workers, not for blue-collar workers.
Keywords: knowledge sharing, social networks, non-knowledge intensive organizations
JEL Classification: C44, M31, M
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
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