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A structural equation model for knowledge sharing behavior in an emerging economy

Mohamed Youssef (Department of Management, American University in the Emirates, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Washika Haak-Saheem (Dubai Business School, University of Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Eyad M. Youssef (Department of Marketing, Delta State University, Cleveland, Missippi, USA)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 10 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

Knowledge sharing behaviour is becoming one of the main priorities in organizations operating in emerging economies, as knowledge sharing behaviour may impact their competitiveness. The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of: openness and trust; top management support; and the reward system on knowledge sharing behaviour. In addition, the paper investigates how knowledge sharing behaviour impacts firm’s competitiveness.

Design/methodology/approach

The analyses in this paper were based on data from more than 230 companies operating in five industries in an emerging economy in the Gulf area. Structural equation modelling (SEM) methodology was used to test the impact of the three independent latent variables of openness and trust, top management support and the reward system on the knowledge sharing behaviour as well as the impact of the later on firm’s competitiveness.

Findings

Exploratory factor as well as confirmatory factor analysis were used to assess the five dimensions of knowledge sharing behaviour and firm’s competitiveness. SEM was used to test the four main hypotheses in this study and to assess the structural relationships among these five latent variables. There was a moderate relationship between the knowledge sharing behaviour and the three independent latent variables of openness and trust; top management support; and the reward system. There was a strong positive association between knowledge sharing behaviour and firm’s competitiveness.

Practical implications

For academics, the paper offers an opportunity to further study knowledge sharing behaviour in other emerging economies. Academics who are interested in examining this issue further may extend our study in many directions. For practitioners, our findings should motivate practitioners to place emphasis on top management support, openness and trust and the reward system to create a proper culture for knowledge creation and sharing.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first attempt in its purpose and design to study knowledge sharing behaviour in multiple industries in an emerging economy such as that of Saudi Arabia.

Keywords

Citation

Youssef, M., Haak-Saheem, W. and Youssef, E.M. (2017), "A structural equation model for knowledge sharing behavior in an emerging economy", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 21 No. 4, pp. 925-945. https://doi.org/10.1108/JKM-10-2016-0470

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited