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Enabling knowledge sharing through psychological safety in inter-organisational arrangements

Angel Eustorgio Rivera (Department of Research and Postgraduate Studies at UPIICSA, Instituto Politecnico Nacional. Mexico City, Mexico)
Lucía Rodríguez-Aceves (Department of Entrepreneurship, Tecnologico de Monterrey. Guadalajara City, Mexico)
Barbara I. Mojarro-Duran (Department of Strategy and Leadership, Tecnologico de Monterrey. Guadalajara City, Mexico)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 20 October 2020

Issue publication date: 21 June 2021




This study aims to generate additional insights into the relationship between knowledge sharing (KS) and psychological safety (PS) in an inter-organisational arrangement through the lens of the knowledge-based view and PS theory.


A relational data survey was designed to collect systematic information from key actors in two manufacturing organisations. The questionnaire assessed KS as the dependent variable and four independent variables – three behavioural (respect, tolerance, trust) and one contextual (suitable working environment) – as proxies of PS. The multiple regression quadratic assignment procedure was used to analyse the effect of PS on KS.


This paper strengthens the findings of previous studies that identify PS as a relevant antecedent of KS in organisations. Additionally, the paper also suggests that a relational approach is more relevant to understand PS as a group concept measured through networks of respect, tolerance, trust and suitable working environments.

Practical implications

This study may help managers identify ways in which they can strengthen the work-related relationships when such behavioural and contextual variables occur in inter-organisational arrangements, and thus obtaining additional relational rents based on an increase in KS.


This study contributes to the literature on how KS in organisations is driven by behavioural and contextual variables that can be operationalised as PS. Moreover, this study expands the understanding of previous research on PS by taking a relational approach to its conceptualisation and measurement within a Latin American context.



The authors gratefully acknowledge the National Research System-Mexican Council for Science and Technology.


Rivera, A.E., Rodríguez-Aceves, L. and Mojarro-Duran, B.I. (2021), "Enabling knowledge sharing through psychological safety in inter-organisational arrangements", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 25 No. 5, pp. 1170-1193.



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