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Enhancing employees’ knowledge sharing through diversity-oriented leadership and strategic internal communication during the COVID-19 outbreak

Yeunjae Lee (Department of Strategic Communication, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, USA)
Weiting Tao (Department of Strategic Communication, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, USA)
Jo-Yun Queenie Li (Department of Strategic Communication, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, USA)
Ruoyu Sun (Department of Strategic Communication, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, USA)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 8 December 2020

Issue publication date: 30 July 2021

6053

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the effects of diversity-oriented leadership and strategic internal communication on employees’ knowledge-sharing behavior during a crisis situation, coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in particular. Integrating knowledge sharing research with internal crisis communication literature as well as self-determination theory, the mediating roles of employees’ intrinsic needs satisfaction are also identified.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey was conducted with 490 full-time employees in the USA across industry sectors during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Findings

Results suggest that diversity-oriented leadership contributes to transparent internal communication during a crisis and increases employees’ satisfaction of autonomy, competence and relatedness needs. Transparent internal communication also increases employees’ intrinsic needs satisfaction, which in turn fosters their job engagement and knowledge-sharing behavior during the crisis.

Originality/value

This study is one of the earliest studies to demonstrate the effectiveness of diversity-oriented leadership and strategic internal crisis communication in enhancing employees’ knowledge-sharing behavior, especially in the context of COVID-19.

Keywords

Citation

Lee, Y., Tao, W., Li, J.-Y.Q. and Sun, R. (2021), "Enhancing employees’ knowledge sharing through diversity-oriented leadership and strategic internal communication during the COVID-19 outbreak", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 25 No. 6, pp. 1526-1549. https://doi.org/10.1108/JKM-06-2020-0483

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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