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Knowledge-sharing attitude and behavior of civil servants: motivations behind rewards

Kristy Lam (Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Elaine W.S. Kong (Georgetown Law Library, Washington, District of Columbia, USA)
Dickson K.W. Chiu (Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Kevin K.W. Ho (Institute of Business Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tokyo, Japan)

Aslib Journal of Information Management

ISSN: 2050-3806

Article publication date: 23 August 2023




To a large extent, knowledge in government workplaces resides within the hierarchy as it provides unique services to the public. Governments should preserve and pass on valuable and irreplaceable knowledge in providing their services through learning by sharing. Yet, sharing requires time and effort. This study examines the motivations of civil servants to share knowledge and their knowledge-sharing behaviors.


The authors conducted an online survey to collect quantitative data from civil servants in the Hong Kong Government and obtained 104 useable responses to test the eight hypotheses comprising six constructs by structural equation modeling to explore the participants' knowledge-sharing behaviors.


Results indicated that (1) expected contribution was the primary source of motivation behind knowledge sharing; (2) participants engaged more frequently in informal than formal knowledge-sharing activities; and (3) there was a dire need for knowledge sharing focusing on explicit knowledge of work procedures.


The research focuses on motivational factors for knowledge sharing. Despite abundant literature about knowledge sharing in public or governmental organizations, scant studies focus on the motivations behind why expected rewards and expected associations have less significant impacts on the attitude toward knowledge sharing than expected contribution.



Lam, K., Kong, E.W.S., Chiu, D.K.W. and Ho, K.K.W. (2023), "Knowledge-sharing attitude and behavior of civil servants: motivations behind rewards", Aslib Journal of Information Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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