This paper to examine full knowledge sharing (KS) and partial KS in order to test the proposition that they are separate behaviors with different characteristics, risks, and motivations for the informer and subsequently different predictors.
Employed knowledge workers completed two questionnaires over a two‐week period regarding their attitudes, situational factors, individual differences, and KS behaviors with their close colleagues in their workplace.
Results support the proposition that they are different albeit related behaviors. Full KS is enabled by intentions for full KS. Partial KS is enabled by the uniqueness of the knowledge, interpersonal distrust of close colleagues, and inhibited by perceived value of knowledge. Management support, interpersonal trust and distrust enable intentions for both full and partial KS, then propensity to share further enables full KS, and psychological ownership further enables intentions for partial KS.
The findings from the study suggest that researchers should specify which sharing behavior they are examining (full or partial). Future research should also examine the outcomes of these two behaviors to see whether the assumed benefits of sharing knowledge apply to both of them.
The findings of the study provide some insight for practitioners on what motivates full versus partial KS.
The study challenges the assumption that KS is a single behavior, and starts to parse out the complexities within the KS literature with respect to predictors of actual KS behaviors.
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