A Hierarchical Perspective of Employees’ Knowledge Sharing Behaviors : A Two-Phase Study

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Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Journal / PublicationGlobal Advances in Business Communication
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


This paper examines whether and how mid-level employees differ in their communication behaviors when sharing knowledge with targets from different hierarchical positions in an organization via a two-phase study design. The first phase of study involves semi-structured interviews with fifteen mid-level employees working in small- and medium-sized enterprises to explore how they behaved in different scenarios of knowledge sharing. Results showed that there are significant differences in their behaviors among different situations. A second-phase study was then conducted to statistically verify the effect of the three identified factors - efficiency concerns, compliance with social norms, and consideration of relationship – on employees’ knowledge sharing behaviors. Theoretically, the paper adds a new determinant to explain employees’ knowledge sharing behaviors. In practice, it informs managers about the important considerations employees would take into account when invited to participate in knowledge sharing.

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