Balancing Knowledge Sharing with Knowledge Protection: The Influence of Role-Criticality
10 Pages Posted: 7 May 2007 Last revised: 31 Aug 2014
Date Written: May 2007
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: Suggested Citation