Knowledge Sharing and Innovative Work Behavior: An Extension of Social Cognitive Theory

Knowledge Sharing and Innovative Work Behavior: An Extension of Social Cognitive Theory

Van Dong Phung (The University of Technology, Australia) and Igor Hawryszkiewycz (The University of Technology, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4200-1.ch005


The growing importance of knowledge sharing is promoting individual innovative work behavior (IWB) to create new products or services for innovative business systems. Also, the key challenges faced by individuals in their knowledge sharing behavior (KSB) are personal perceptions and environmental influences. Thus, this chapter provides a research model using an extension of social cognitive theory that comprises environmental factors (subjective norms, trust), personal factors (knowledge self-efficacy, enjoyment in helping others, organizational rewards, reciprocal benefits, and psychological ownership of knowledge), KSB, and IWB. The authors advance to implement mixed-methods approaches to evaluate the proposed model. The authors believe that this research will contribute to deeper understanding of the effects of personal and environmental factors and KSB on IBW within organizations. The model is also expected to be tested in any organizations in which future researchers or practitioners wish to test this model.
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Knowledge has been recognized as critical key to creativity and innovation in any organizations. An organization successfully develops knowledge sharing (KS) culture that would help to promote its employee’s attitudes and behaviors in general, and innovative work behavior (IWB) in particular. Integrating KS in business plan is promising approach to build the KS culture and bridge the gap between the KS and performing business practices lead to innovation (Lin, 2007a; Law & Ngai, 2008). However, KS has not met many organizations’ expectation. Accordingly, research on KS has attracted the interest many researchers, scholars and practitioners for decades. They have embarked on filling one of the following gaps in the literature. Firstly, the inconsistent findings on factors influence KSB. For example, some authors found that organizational rewards has positively impact on KSB (Hsu et al., 2007; Liou et al., 2016), while others revealed no significant relationship between organizational rewards and knowledge sharing (Lin, 2007a; Phung et al., 2017). Secondly, there has been little research on the relationship between KSB and IWB to build an organization that is innovative to the requests of knowledge-based development. Finally, KS has only focused on the technology perspectives in many organizations, in particular technology infrastructures (Hsu et al., 2007; Pfeffer & Sutton, 1999). Yet, explicit studies specifically oriented to the problems of KS in term of environmental and personal factors are rare (Hsu et al., 2007).

Thus, the interest of this chapter is to formulate an extension of social cognitive theory (SCT) in order to deeper understand the relationships between environmental and personal factors and KSB to promote IWB in organizations. In addition, the chapter also explores the moderating roles of transformational leadership on environment-personal factors and KSB, and transactive memory systems on KSB and IWB.

SCT was developed by Bandura (1986), and it was used to investigate the effects of environmental and personal factor on KSB in virtual communities (Hsu et al., 2007; Lin et al., 2009; Chang et al., 2015; Liou et al., 2016; Moon et al., 2016; Rahman et al., 2016). This theory indicates that an individual behavior is affected by social influences and personal perceptions. As applied to this study, this theory holds that the authors would expect environment and personal factors to influence or explain KSB because the theory states that a behavior that has personal perception in environmental influences would be taken by a person. This chapter will contribute to the literature of KS by investigating and answering the main research question as follows:

  • RQ.1: What factors influence KSB?

  • RQ.2: How does KSB influence IWB?

  • RQ.3: What are the joint effects of transformational leadership and environment-personal factors on KSB?

  • RQ.4: What are the joint effects of transactive memory systems quality and KSB on IWB?

The organization of the chapter is as follows. The background is presented in the next section, followed by describing the theory perspectives towards a theoretical research model. Then, the research framework for the application of the proposed research model is described in the model implementation section. The next section is to outline the future trends. Finally, the conclusion with the remarks is given.



This section provides broad definitions and discussions of knowledge sharing behavior (KSB) and innovative work behavior (IWB). It also reviews empirical studies on KSB based on social cognitive theory (SCT) that is main focus of this chapter.

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