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The effect of customer power on enterprise internal knowledge sharing: an empirical study

Yu-Wei Chang (Department of Information Management, China Jiliang University, Hangzhou, China)
Ping-Yu Hsu (Department of Business Administration, National Central University, Jhongli, Taiwan)
Wen-Lung Shiau (Department of Information Management, Ming Chuan University, GuiShan, Taiwan)
Ronghua Yi (Department of Information Management, China Jiliang University, Hangzhou, China)

Aslib Journal of Information Management

ISSN: 2050-3806

Article publication date: 21 September 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how customer power of environmental factors affects customer support (CS) engineers’ personal motivations in a knowledge-sharing context. The authors examine extrinsic (i.e. organizational rewards, reputation, and reciprocity) and intrinsic motivations (i.e. knowledge self-efficacy) affecting knowledge-sharing intentions based on the social exchange theory (SET) and self-efficacy theory. Furthermore, the authors introduce the concept of the social power theory to investigate the moderating effect of customer power on the relationships between personal motivations and knowledge-sharing intentions.

Design/methodology/approach

This study collects 349 questionnaires of CS engineers from 16 countries, including the USA, China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. After the data collection, the research model and hypotheses are tested using partial least squares.

Findings

The empirical results show that reputation, reciprocity, and knowledge self-efficacy are significantly and positively related to knowledge-sharing intentions. Also, the results show that customer power can significantly moderate the relationships between personal motivations and knowledge-sharing intentions.

Research limitations/implications

The findings help multinational corporations employ the perception of customer power to motivate CS engineers to share knowledge. Especially, the results can help organizations increase customer added value through effective knowledge sharing.

Originality/value

The research model integrates personal motivations derived from the SET and self-efficacy theory and customer power of environmental factors. Additionally, this study is the first to investigate the moderating effect of customer power on employees’ personal motivations and behavioral intentions.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology [Grant No. 103-2410-H-008-030], the Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang Province [Grant No. LQ15G010004], the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) [Grant No. 71173203, 71473235], and the Association of Social Science of Zhejiang Province [Grant No. 2015Z033].

Citation

Chang, Y.-W., Hsu, P.-Y., Shiau, W.-L. and Yi, R. (2015), "The effect of customer power on enterprise internal knowledge sharing: an empirical study", Aslib Journal of Information Management, Vol. 67 No. 5, pp. 505-525. https://doi.org/10.1108/AJIM-02-2015-0028

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited