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Distributed leadership and exploratory and exploitative innovations: mediating roles of tacit and explicit knowledge sharing and organizational trust

Sarra Berraies (Department of Management and Marketing, University of Bahrain-College of Business Administration, Sakheer, Bahrain)
Khadija Aya Hamza (Department of Management, University of Tunis, Higher Institute of Management of Tunis, Le Bardo, Tunisia)
Rached Chtioui (University of Tunis, Higher School of Economics and Commercial Sciences of Tunis, Tunis, Tunisia)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 20 November 2020

Issue publication date: 21 June 2021

1505

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to highlight the impact of distributed leadership (DL) on exploitative and exploratory innovations through the mediating effects of organizational trust (OT) and tacit and explicit knowledge sharing (KS).

Design/methodology/approach

Focusing on a quantitative approach, an empirical study was performed within a sample of information and communication technology Tunisian firms. The data collected was analyzed through the Partial Least Squares (PLS) method.

Findings

Findings revealed that DL is a driver of tacit and explicit KS, and exploitative and exploratory innovations. It also highlighted that tacit KS is associated with these two types of innovation. In this line, results showed that tacit KS plays a mediating effect between DL and exploitative and exploratory innovations. Moreover, our research highlighted that DL has a positive impact on OT that in turn boosts tacit and explicit KS.

Originality/value

This paper investigates the links between DL and exploitative and exploratory innovations within knowledge intensive firms (KIFs) that have never been studied in the literature within the context of business firms. This paper pioneers the examination of the mediating roles of explicit and tacit KS and OT in these links as well. This paper highlights the importance of DL for KIFs and sheds the light on how this collectivist approach of leadership creates an atmosphere of trust and fosters tacit and explicit KS to boost exploitative and exploratory innovations.

Keywords

Citation

Berraies, S., Hamza, K.A. and Chtioui, R. (2021), "Distributed leadership and exploratory and exploitative innovations: mediating roles of tacit and explicit knowledge sharing and organizational trust", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 25 No. 5, pp. 1287-1318. https://doi.org/10.1108/JKM-04-2020-0311

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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