Understanding Knowledge Sharing Among ICT Professionals: Multiple Models and Empirical Test

Understanding Knowledge Sharing Among ICT Professionals: Multiple Models and Empirical Test

Sabah Abdullah Al-Somali (King AbdulAziz University, Saudi Arabia) and Magesh Nagarajan (Indian Institute of Management, Nagpur, India)
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/IJKM.2021100101
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This study aims to examine the knowledge-sharing intention (KSI) of information and communications technology (ICT) professionals in Saudi Arabia. A comprehensive theoretical model was constructed for this study that took into consideration individual cognition, personality traits, and social interaction. Data was collected from 240 ICT professionals and engineers from 19 companies. Data analysis and research model assessment were conducted based on structural equation modelling (SEM) in conjunction with SmartPLS software. Results indicate that social influence, attitude toward knowledge sharing, perceived reputation enhancement, and perceived reciprocal benefit have a significant impact on the variations in the knowledge-sharing behavioural intention of ICT professionals. The study results are both theoretically and empirically valuable, and organisations may find the study results useful for the creation of policies that can foster a culture of knowledge sharing.
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Knowledge sharing (KS) has been argued to be positively related to an organisation’s innovation capabilities (Liao, 2006). In fact, the sharing of ideas among individuals, teams, and/or business units is a key activity without which an organisation might under-utilize its most valuable resources and assets (Cabrera & Cabrera, 2002). Both researchers and organisations have begun to pay attention to understand how knowledge sharing intention can be increasingly driven by knowledge economy (Liu, 2008). More importantly, organisations are investing strongly in ICT to increase revenue, reduce costs and gain competitive advantage in today’s highly dynamic business market (Hewitt et al., 2020; Kossaï et al., 2019). On the other hand, with emerging technologies like Blockchain, Big Data, and Cloud computing, the role of KS becomes vital for ICT professionals (Abdelwhab et al., 2019; Gyamfi et al., 2018).

Knowledge has emerged as the most strategically significant resources of an organisation and as a source of sustainable competitive advantage (Iqbal et al., 2019; Shahzad et al., 2016; Ranasinghe & Dharmadasa, 2013; Jennex, 2007; Drucker, 1988). Successful economies continue to make the best use of knowledge and its applications (Mostafiz et al., 2019).

KS is the most essential process for knowledge management (KM) and a building block for firm’s success (Al-Alawi et al., 2007; Syed-Ikhsan and Rowland, 2004). KS entails sharing and acquisition of thoughts about possible courses of action, information, experience, and best practice between two or more employees for problem-solving and collaboration (Wang & Noe, 2010; Lin, 2007). Tacit knowledge includes skills, insights, perceptions and practical knowledge that are deeply embedded in employees and cannot be communicated and expressed in language (Borges et al., 2019; Hadjimichael & Tsoukas, 2019). KS enables converting tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge (Hoof et al., 2012).

Recent studies have shown increased attention to KS in organisations (Arain et al., 2018; Lotfi et. al, 2016; McKay et al., 2015; Ramayah et al., 2013; Ranasinghe et al., 2013; Ganguly et al., 2011; Jeon et.al, 2011; Wang & Noe, 2010; Hsu & Lin; 2008; Cabrera et al., 2006; Peltokorpi, 2006; Ipe,2003). In addition, KS studies have expanded their research focus to include professional groups such as academicians (Fullwood et al., 2019; Ramayah et al., 2013), accountants (Phang & Foong, 2010), civil and mechanical engineers (Matzler et al., 2008), librarians (Noaman & Fouad, 2014) and healthcare practitioners (Razzaque et al., 2013). However, ICT professionals and engineers have been found to be a largely under-researched workforce segment (Tsai et al., 2013; Borges, 2013; Teh & Sun, 2012). Moreover, it is noteworthy that, the phenomenon of KS is largely investigated in the Western world (Mullins et al., 2020; Fullwood et al., 2019; Rodman & Trespalacios,2018;Wulf & Butel,2017). In fact, little work on KS has been done in the Arab Middle Eastern context, and specifically in countries that belong to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) (Gharamah et al., 2018; Marouf & Alrikabi, 2015). Therefore, this study aims to identify the antecedents which promote KSI among ICT professionals in Saudi Arabia and identify theories explaining KSI.

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