To read this content please select one of the options below:

Exploring different cultural configurations: how do they affect subsidiaries’ knowledge sharing behaviors?

Vincenzo Cavaliere (Department of Economics and Management, University of Florence, Florence, Italy)
Sara Lombardi (Department of Business and Management, LUISS Guido Carli, Rome, Italy)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 7 April 2015




The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of different cultural typologies (i.e. innovative, competitive, bureaucratic and community) on employees’ knowledge-sharing processes within multinational corporations (MNCs) by taking a subsidiary perspective. It particularly applies the competing values framework to the study of individuals’ orientations toward sharing knowledge with others while also investigating the influence of top management support on such orientations.


To test the proposed hypotheses, in this paper, survey data of 389 employees from six Italian subsidiaries are empirically analyzed by running hierarchical regressions on the two dimensions of knowledge-sharing processes, i.e. knowledge donating and knowledge collecting.


The results show that the four types of organizational culture differently affect the knowledge-sharing sub-processes and confirm the importance of a strong top management support to facilitate interpersonal relationships.

Research limitations/implications

Despite the cross-sectional nature of the data and the limitations arising from the subsidiaries’ position in the country, the findings suggest managers to pay great attention to the positive side of bureaucracy by emphasizing the need for order and efficiency while, at the same time, providing employees with a constant and encouraging support toward knowledge-sharing activities.


The paper adds empirical evidence to the limited existing research on knowledge-sharing sub-processes of knowledge donating and collecting, extends the understanding of how different organizational cultures affect such processes, and contributes to the literature on MNCs’ knowledge-based activities by adopting a subsidiary perspective.



This research is the result of the joint work of the two authors who fully share the responsibility of its content. The authors thank you the reviewers of the 5th European Conference on Intellectual Capital for providing their valuable comments on the research we are proposing here.


Cavaliere, V. and Lombardi, S. (2015), "Exploring different cultural configurations: how do they affect subsidiaries’ knowledge sharing behaviors?", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 19 No. 2, pp. 141-163.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles