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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Expert Systems with Applications, Volume 35, Issue 3, October 2008, Pages 1316–1326
Organizational knowledge sharing, argued to be able to improve organizational performance and achieve competitive advantage, is often not induced successfully. How organizations should encourage and facilitate knowledge sharing to improve organizational performance is still an important research question. This study proposes and examines a model of organizational knowledge sharing that improves organizational performance. Organizational knowledge sharing practices are argued to be able to encourage and facilitate knowledge sharing, and are hypothesized to have a positive relationship with organizational human capital (employee competencies), which is hypothesized to have a positive relationship with organizational performance. Two organizational antecedents (innovation strategy and top management knowledge values) are hypothesized to lead to the implementation of organizational knowledge sharing practices. The hypotheses were examined with data collected from 256 companies in Taiwan. All the hypotheses are supported. This study has both theoretical and practical implications.
In the knowledge-based economy, internal resources and competencies of companies have become a major focus of management literature (Barney, 1991, Teece et al., 1997 and Wernerfelt, 1984). The analysis of internal resources has transformed to a focus on intangible resources; knowledge is seen as a crucial type (Alavi et al., 2005–2006, Davenport et al., 1998 and Drucker, 1993). However, knowledge is not symmetrically distributed within an organization. Thus, for an organization to develop competitive advantage, identifying, capturing, sharing and accumulating knowledge become crucial (Husted and Michailova, 2002 and Michailova and Husted, 2003). An emphasis on knowledge has sparked a recent interest in performance implications of organizational knowledge management/sharing processes and practices (Becerra-Fernandez and Sabherwal, 2001, Hsu, 2006, Lee and Choi, 2003 and Widén-Wulff and Soumi, 2007). However, knowledge sharing is a test of human nature (Cabrera and Cabrera, 2002 and French and Raven, 1959), and accessing knowledge from colleagues and unknown others can be difficult (Constant, Sproull, & Kiesler, 1996). As a result, knowledge sharing within organizations very often is not successful and organizational performance is not improved. Managerial interventions are needed to encourage and facilitate systematic knowledge sharing (Hsu, 2006 and Husted and Michailova, 2002). Despite the growing interest in organizational knowledge sharing, empirical research on performance implications of knowledge sharing practices has not been sufficient and is called for (Choi & Lee, 2003). More importantly, researchers caution that organizational knowledge management/sharing practices do not directly lead to an improvement of organizational performance. Rather, organizational performance is improved through an improvement of intermediate (or individual) outcomes, following the implementation of knowledge management/sharing practices (Davenport et al., 1998, Liebowitz and Chen, 2001 and Sabherwal and Bercerra-Fernandez, 2003). A major goal of this research is to better understand such a causal mechanism. An organization within which knowledge sharing takes place will develop its human capital, i.e., competencies of human resources, through knowledge transfer and exchange (Quinn et al., 1996 and Widén-Wulff and Soumi, 2007). As organizational human capital is developed, human resources can improve their job performance and ultimately, organizational performance with new and relevant knowledge. This paper seeks to propose and examine a model of organizational knowledge sharing in which knowledge sharing practices contribute to organizational performance through the development of human capital. To this end, the importance of organizational human capital is first examined in the literature review section. If the importance of organizational human capital is established, the importance of organizational knowledge sharing practices is justified. Further, although developing human capital is one of the key objectives of organizational knowledge sharing practices (Bartlett & Ghoshal, 2002), the relationship between these practices and human capital has not been examined. Also, the notion of human capital has been argued to lie at the core of business success in the 21st century (Hitt, 2000 and Liebowitz, 2002). However, the link between organizational human capital and organizational performance has been prescriptive and requires empirical investigation (Lado and Wilson, 1994 and Youndt et al., 2004). Thus, investigating the effect of organizational knowledge sharing practices on organizational performance through the development of human capital will not only establish the importance of knowledge sharing practices but also result in findings that have both theoretical and practical implications. Finally, for organizational knowledge sharing practices to effectively develop human capital, influencing factors in the organization must be understood (Demarest, 1997, Malhotra, 2004 and O’Dell and Grayson, 1999). These factors, or antecedents, serve as infrastructure to improve the effectiveness of organizational knowledge sharing (Holsapple and Joshi, 2000 and Lee and Choi, 2003). This research investigates the relationships between two important and yet neglected antecedents (organizational strategy and top management knowledge values) and knowledge sharing practices. From a range of literatures, these two antecedents were identified to underlie and drive knowledge sharing to develop and exploit knowledge assets (including human capital) for perpetual survival and growth of organizations (Alavi et al., 2005–2006, Hamel and Prahalad, 1993, Hamel and Prahalad, 2005, Ruggles, 1998, Teece and Pisano, 1994 and Teece et al., 1997).
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This study has limitations. First, potential common method variance may result from the use of self-report data. Second, the senior manager database used for the survey may be biased. For example, only senior managers with good company performance are confident enough to be included in the database. However, Taiwanese business people share a long tradition of emphasizing guanxi (positive connections) in business operations. Participating in the association means an extension of a manager’s social network and access to government funding and training. Since the MOEA did not use company performance as a selection criterion for those applying to join the association, many company senior managers are eager to join the association. Thus, the selection bias may not be an important limitation for this study. Third, the cross-sectional data did not allow a longitudinal investigation of the conceptual framework examined in this paper. However, this study has opened up a line of inquiry by examining the causal links between organizational antecedents, organizational knowledge sharing practices, organizational human capital and performance. The findings have implications for theory and practice. Future research is encouraged to follow this line of inquiry to bring more insight into how organizations should enhance their performance with well-conceived knowledge sharing strategies and practices. Such research can broaden the scope by investigating the relationships between knowledge management processes, which include acquisition, sharing, integration, and retention of knowledge, and organizational human capital (Hsu, 2005). Financial performance measured by objective indicators should also be included in the investigation.