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How transformational leadership supports knowledge sharing: Evidence from Chinese manufacturing and service firms

Phong Ba Le (School of Business Administration, Hunan University, Changsha, China)
Hui Lei (School of Business Administration, Hunan University, Changsha, China)

Chinese Management Studies

ISSN: 1750-614X

Article publication date: 7 August 2017

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to clarify the influences of transformational leadership (TL), aspects of justice and trust on knowledge sharing (KS) process after assessing the controlling role of individuals’ education and gender.

Design/methodology/approach

Structural equations modeling (SEM) has been applied to evaluate the degree of influence that each variable has on the others through using data collected from 353 respondents of 56 large manufacturing and service firms.

Findings

The results show that distributive justice, procedural justice and trust in leadership play mediating roles in the relationship between TL and KS behavior. TL and procedural justice have more significant effects on knowledge collecting, while trust in the leader and distributive justice have more significant effects on knowledge donating.

Research limitations/implications

Future research can investigate how personal characteristics (e.g. educational level and work experience) may play moderating roles in the relationships between TL and KS processes.

Practical implications

From a practical perspective, the study brings a deeper understanding for directors and managers about the necessary factors to encourage and promote KS behavior in the organization.

Originality/value

The study findings provide a theoretical basis that can be used to analyze the relationships between TL, aspects of justice, trust and the KS process.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the Editor-in-chief and two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments. The authors also thank the Collaborative Innovation Center of Chinese Industrial Finance for their support. This research is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant No. 71272208.

Citation

Le, P.B. and Lei, H. (2017), "How transformational leadership supports knowledge sharing: Evidence from Chinese manufacturing and service firms", Chinese Management Studies, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 479-497. https://doi.org/10.1108/CMS-02-2017-0039

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited