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Linking personality traits and individuals’ knowledge management behavior

Osveh Esmaeelinezhad (Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran)
Abbas Afrazeh (Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran)

Aslib Journal of Information Management

ISSN: 2050-3806

Article publication date: 18 May 2018

Issue publication date: 30 July 2018

Abstract

Purpose

Inspired by the theory of planned behavior, the purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of the big five personality (BFP) traits (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism) on four aspects of individuals’ knowledge management (KM) behaviors: knowledge acquisition, knowledge storage, knowledge sharing, and knowledge application.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey-based approach was used to collect data from 221 employees from five knowledge-intensive firms.

Findings

The partial least square analyses confirmed a positive effect of two personality traits, openness and conscientiousness, on knowledge acquisition as well as knowledge application behavior. In addition, the positive effects of extraversion and conscientiousness traits on knowledge storage behavior were confirmed. The findings also revealed that agreeableness and openness traits positively relate to knowledge sharing behavior. Finally, neuroticism had a negative effect on knowledge acquisition and application behavior.

Practical implications

This study suggests that organizations need to incorporate employees’ personality into the design and implementation of their KM systems. The findings provide managers with insight into the course of personnel selection and retention to facilitate KM behaviors in organizations.

Originality/value

Little is known about the relationship between the BFP traits and four aspects of KM behaviors at the individual level. The present study has contributed to the existing body of literature through clarifying how personality traits relate to four dimensions of individuals’ KM behaviors.

Keywords

Citation

Esmaeelinezhad, O. and Afrazeh, A. (2018), "Linking personality traits and individuals’ knowledge management behavior", Aslib Journal of Information Management, Vol. 70 No. 3, pp. 234-251. https://doi.org/10.1108/AJIM-01-2018-0019

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited