Knowledge Sharing Ties and Equivalence in Corporate Online Community: A Novel Source to Understand Voluntary Turnover

Forthcoming, Production and Operations Management

31 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2021 Last revised: 3 Jul 2022

See all articles by Yuan Chen

Yuan Chen

Shanghai University of Finance and Economics - School of Information Management and Engineering

Hsing Kenneth Cheng

University of Florida - Warrington College of Business

Yang Liu

Shanghai University of Finance and Economics - School of Information Management and Engineering

Jingchuan Pu

University of Florida - Warrington College of Business Administration

Liangfei Qiu

University of Florida - Warrington College of Business Administration

Ning Wang

Shanghai University of Finance and Economics - School of Information Management and Engineering

Date Written: May 7, 2021

Abstract

An increasing number of companies are using corporate online communities, a new information technology tool, to facilitate internal knowledge sharing. The corporate online community also offers companies a novel source to understand employee’s behaviors such as voluntary turnover, an important part of workforce management. Little is known, however, about whether and to what extent an employee’s voluntary turnover is related to their knowledge-sharing activities in the corporate online community. In this study, we address this critical issue by jointly considering in-degree ties (i.e., knowledge acquisition) and out-degree ties (i.e., knowledge contribution), which we combine into two novel knowledge-sharing indicators: (i) the existence of bidirectional (vs. unidirectional) knowledge-sharing ties and (ii) the equivalence of knowledge-sharing ties (i.e., the balance between in-degree centrality and out-degree centrality). We theorize the relationships between these two indicators and the likelihood of voluntary employee turnover, and we test our hypotheses by collaborating with a large company to collect official voluntary turnover records and a unique dataset of detailed knowledge-sharing behaviors in its corporate online community. A survival model and a series of robustness checks consistently indicate that voluntary turnover is less likely among employees who establish bidirectional knowledge-sharing ties (rather than unidirectional ties), and that voluntary turnover is less likely among those with higher equivalence of knowledge-sharing ties. In light of the critical role of workforce management and the extensive use of online communities, our study offers important managerial implications and can help companies better understand or predict employees’ voluntary turnover from their online knowledge-sharing activities.

Keywords: workforce management, corporate online communities, voluntary turnover, knowledge sharing, survival models

Suggested Citation

Chen, Yuan and Cheng, Hsing Kenneth and Liu, Yang and Pu, Jingchuan and Qiu, Liangfei and Wang, Ning, Knowledge Sharing Ties and Equivalence in Corporate Online Community: A Novel Source to Understand Voluntary Turnover (May 7, 2021). Forthcoming, Production and Operations Management, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3761551

Yuan Chen

Shanghai University of Finance and Economics - School of Information Management and Engineering ( email )

No. 100 Wudong Road
Shanghai, Shanghai 200433
China

Hsing Kenneth Cheng

University of Florida - Warrington College of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 117169
Gainesville, FL 32611-7169
United States
352-392-7068 (Phone)
352-392-5438 (Fax)

Yang Liu

Shanghai University of Finance and Economics - School of Information Management and Engineering ( email )

No. 100 Wudong Road
Shanghai, Shanghai 200433
China

Jingchuan Pu (Contact Author)

University of Florida - Warrington College of Business Administration ( email )

Gainesville, FL 32611
United States

Liangfei Qiu

University of Florida - Warrington College of Business Administration ( email )

Gainesville, FL 32611
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/qiuliangfei/

Ning Wang

Shanghai University of Finance and Economics - School of Information Management and Engineering ( email )

No. 100 Wudong Road
Shanghai, Shanghai 200433
China

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