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Investigating the effects of psychological empowerment and interpersonal conflicts on employees’ knowledge sharing intentions

Wei-Tsong Wang (Department of Industrial and Information Management, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan)
Yi-Shun Wang (Department of Information Management, National Changhua University of Education, Changhua, Taiwan)
Wan-Ting Chang (Institute of Information Management, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 25 April 2019

Issue publication date: 14 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how different forms of interpersonal conflicts and employees’ psychological empowerment may affect knowledge sharing intentions directly or indirectly via interpersonal trust in the workplace.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey data collected from 249 employees of 37 of the top 500 corporations in the manufacturing industry in Taiwan were used for the data analysis. The research model was analyzed using the component-based structural equation modeling technique, namely, the partial least squares (PLS) approach.

Findings

The results indicate that both relationship and task conflicts have significant indirect effects on employees’ knowledge sharing intentions via psychological empowerment and trust. Additionally, psychological empowerment significantly influences employees’ knowledge sharing intentions both directly and indirectly via trust.

Research limitations/implications

The primary theoretical implication is an advancement in the understanding of the critical antecedents of and their different effects on employees’ knowledge sharing intentions from the perspectives of conflict management and individual psychological empowerment. Future research may concentrate on investigating the bidirectional interactions among trust, relationship conflicts and task conflicts in different knowledge-sharing contexts.

Practical implications

This study provides practical insights into conflict resolution intended to facilitate psychological empowerment and interpersonal trust that encourage knowledge sharing in the workplace.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first knowledge sharing study that empirically examines how task and relationship conflicts affect employees’ knowledge sharing intentions differently via the mediation of their perceived psychological empowerment and interpersonal trust in one another in the workplace.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the editor and the anonymous reviewers for their valuable feedback on this paper. The authors also thank the authorities of the participating companies for their support and the survey respondents for providing valuable data. This research was funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan [Grant Number: MOST 104-2410-H-006-051-MY3].

Citation

Wang, W.-T., Wang, Y.-S. and Chang, W.-T. (2019), "Investigating the effects of psychological empowerment and interpersonal conflicts on employees’ knowledge sharing intentions", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 23 No. 6, pp. 1039-1076. https://doi.org/10.1108/JKM-07-2018-0423

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited