Social Capital and Knowledge Sharing in Knowledge-Based Organizations: An Empirical Study

Social Capital and Knowledge Sharing in Knowledge-Based Organizations: An Empirical Study

Chay Yue Wah (SIM University, Singapore), Thomas Menkhoff (Singapore Management University, Singapore), Benjamin Loh (University of Cambridge, UK) and Hans-Dieter Evers (University of Bonn, Germany)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/jkm.2007010103
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The study aims to understand the social and organizational factors that influence knowledge sharing. A model of knowledge management and knowledge sharing was developed inspired by the work of Nahapiet and Ghoshal. Data on KM processes and various social capital measures were collected from a sample of 262 members of a tertiary educational institution in Singapore. Rewards and incentives, open-mindedness, and cost-benefit concerns of knowledge hoarding turned out to be the strongest predictors of knowledge sharing rather than prosocial motives or organizational care. Individuals who are highly competent in their work abilities are less likely to share what they know when they perceive that there are few rewards or when sharing is not recognized by the organization. The findings provide evidence for the importance of social capital as a lubricant of knowledge sharing and engaging performance management systems in knowledge-intensive organizations.

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