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Knowledge sharing in cross‐functional teams: a coopetitive model

Shahla Ghobadi (School of Information Systems, Technology and Management, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)
John D'Ambra (School of Information Systems, Technology and Management, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 30 March 2012

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to present a model that can be used for predicting effective knowledge sharing behaviors in cross‐functional project teams.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawn from the extant literature, a coopetitive model of knowledge sharing is postulated. Data from 115 project managers are used to test the proposed model, using partial least squares (PLS).

Findings

The findings confirm the applicability and predictive power of the proposed model. Three dimensions of cross‐functional cooperation (cooperative task orientation, cooperative communication, and cooperative interpersonal relationships) were proved to directly drive effective knowledge sharing behaviors. The results show that competition affects effective knowledge sharing behaviors through influencing cooperative behaviors. In addition, this study shows that different dimensions of competition generate mixed impacts. Competition for tangible resources was found to positively affect cooperative communication of individuals, whereas competition for intangible resources (political competition) had negative impacts on cooperative communication and task orientations.

Research limitations/implications

This study contributes to the extant literature by presenting a model that predicts effective knowledge sharing practices in cross‐functional projects. In addition, the results advance the current understanding of the concept and modeling of coopetitive knowledge sharing.

Practical implications

The proposed model of this study can be used by managers in order to facilitate problematic knowledge sharing processes within cross‐functional teams.

Originality/value

This study stands as one of the first attempts in providing a model that explains the forces behind effective knowledge sharing behaviors in cross‐functional teams. The model explores coopetition effect in a systematic way, which has not been previously studied.

Keywords

Citation

Ghobadi, S. and D'Ambra, J. (2012), "Knowledge sharing in cross‐functional teams: a coopetitive model", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 285-301. https://doi.org/10.1108/13673271211218889

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited