The Effect of Relative Performance Information on Knowledge Sharing among Employees
44 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2018
Date Written: October 30, 2018
This study examines the effect of relative performance information (RPI) on knowledge sharing among employees. Additionally, we investigate whether the effect of RPI on knowledge sharing differs when employees can observe each other’s knowledge-sharing decisions. Based on the concepts of social comparison, impression management, social norms, and reciprocity, we predict and find that the presence of RPI reduces knowledge sharing among employees and that the observability of individual knowledge-sharing decisions increases knowledge sharing. Concerning the interaction of RPI and observability, theory suggests that observability mitigates the negative effect of RPI on knowledge sharing. However, we find that observability reduces the negative effect of RPI on knowledge sharing only in the short term. Over time, observability leads to increased knowledge sharing when RPI is absent but not when RPI is present. Hence, mere observability cannot completely suspend the negative effect of RPI. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
Keywords: relative performance information, feedback, performance management, knowledge sharing, cooperation
JEL Classification: M410
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation