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Towards Sustainable Knowledge Sharing Practices: An Analysis of Organizational Level Enablers

Kathryn Cormican, Chen Meng, Suzana Sampaio and Qiong Wu
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Kathryn Cormican: Enterprise Research Centre and LERO—The Irish Software Research Centre, School of Engineering, National University of Ireland, H91 HX31 Galway, Ireland
Chen Meng: Enterprise Research Centre and LERO—The Irish Software Research Centre, School of Engineering, National University of Ireland, H91 HX31 Galway, Ireland
Suzana Sampaio: Department of Computer Science, Federal Rural University of Pernambuco, Rua Dom Manuel de Medeiros, s/n, Dois Irmãos, Recife 52171-900, PE, Brazil
Qiong Wu: School of Business, Macau University of Science and Technology, Avenida Wai Long, Taipa, Macau 999078, China

Sustainability, 2021, vol. 13, issue 23, 1-0

Abstract: Sustainable management activities focus on creating efficiencies and value for organizations. Scholars advocate that evaluating and enabling appropriate management interventions can pave the way for future competitive advantage and sustainability. Knowledge management is regarded as a key organizational resource and a means of gaining a sustainable competitive advantage. This is especially important in high-tech service organizations, which are under increasing pressure to capture, process and share knowledge efficiently. While much work has been conducted to advance our knowledge on good practices, there is a dearth of empirical evidence relating to organizational level enablers for knowledge sharing. We advocate that creating the conditions conducive to knowledge sharing influences an organization’s ability to sustain a long-term competitive advantage. Therefore, this current study extends the literature on knowledge management by exploring the questions of whether and how key organizational factors impact knowledge sharing, focusing on the role of trust, communication, reward systems and leadership. To do this, we analyzed prior work and generated hypotheses relating to relevant enablers. We then operationalized these constructs via a structured data collection instrument, which consisted of 27 measurable items. Empirical data were collected from 104 team members in a high-tech service organization in Ireland. Data were analyzed using a quantitative approach, and descriptive statistics, correlations and regression analyses are presented. Our research offers a persuasive body of evidence supporting the notion that trust, communication, reward systems, and leadership strongly impact knowledge sharing in organizations. Specifically, the findings reveal that employees are more willing to share their personal knowledge with those they trust, and carefully designed communication systems can enable knowledge sharing. Reward systems play an important role in affecting employees’ motivation to share knowledge, while empowering leadership and participatory leadership are two main drivers in promoting knowledge sharing. This research addresses a relatively unexplored area, has implications for sustainable management practices relating to organizational design and provides ideas for future research studies.

Keywords: knowledge sharing; enablers; organizational factors; trust; communication; leadership; reward systems; case study (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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