Balancing Knowledge Sharing with Knowledge Protection: The Influence of Role-Criticality

10 Pages Posted: 7 May 2007 Last revised: 31 Aug 2014

See all articles by David A. Bray

David A. Bray

Harvard University; University of Oxford; National Defense University

Ramnath K. Chellappa

Emory University - Goizueta Business School

Benn Konsynski

Emory University - Goizueta Business School

Dominic Thomas

Sawyer Business School

Date Written: May 2007

Abstract

For knowledge-intensive, information-sensitive organizations, we suggest two orthogonal constructs, namely the perceived levels of knowledge sharing and knowledge protection, influence the perceived levels of organizational performance, to include the constructs of organizational responsiveness and organizational efficiency. For a large organization of more than 10,000 employees, we observe that a knowledge-worker's role criticality directly and indirectly shapes perceived organizational performance. First, we find that greater perceived levels of knowledge protection and knowledge sharing strongly correlate with greater perceived levels of organizational performance (for both responsiveness and efficiency). Second, we find that workers with greater role-criticality negatively discount the contribution of knowledge protection to organizational performance, while they also positively accentuate the contribution of knowledge sharing to organizational performance (again, for both measures). Cumulatively, our research underscores the need to balance knowledge sharing and protection particularly when knowledge workers engage in critical organizational functions.

Keywords: knowledge protection, knowledge sharing, organizational responsiveness, organizational effectiveness, role criticality, information systems, knowledge technologies

JEL Classification: D21, D23, D70, D83, O30

Suggested Citation

Bray, David A. and Chellappa, Ramnath K. and Konsynski, Benn and Thomas, Dominic, Balancing Knowledge Sharing with Knowledge Protection: The Influence of Role-Criticality (May 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=984599 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.984599

David A. Bray (Contact Author)

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

University of Oxford

Oxford
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dbray

National Defense University ( email )

Marshall Hall
300 5th Avenue
Washington, DC 20319-5066
United States

Ramnath K. Chellappa

Emory University - Goizueta Business School ( email )

1300 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322-2722
United States
(404) 727 7599 (Phone)
(404) 727 2053 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.bus.emory.edu/ram

Benn Konsynski

Emory University - Goizueta Business School ( email )

1300 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322-2722
United States

Dominic Thomas

Sawyer Business School ( email )

73 Tremont St
Boston, MA Massachusetts 02108
United States
617-573-8442 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.suffolk.edu

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