Determinants of knowledge sharing in a public sector organization

Angela Titi Amayah (Based at SUNY Empire State College, Rochester, New York, USA)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Publication date: 24 May 2013



The purpose of this paper is to investigate the factors that affect knowledge sharing in a public sector organization.


The paper is based on quantitative research. The data were gathered through questionnaires and analyzed using multiple regression.


Community‐related considerations, normative considerations and personal benefits were three motivators found to have a unique contribution to the variance in knowledge sharing. The following enablers had a significant main effect on knowledge sharing: social interaction, rewards, and organizational support. Two barriers, degree of courage and degree of empathy, which measured organizational climate, were found to have a significant main effect on knowledge sharing. The interaction of normative consideration with social interaction, personal benefit with organizational support, and normative considerations with degree of courage, had a moderating effect on the relationship between motivating factors and knowledge sharing.

Research limitations/implications

The study was conducted in a single public sector organization, which limits the generalizability of the findings to other settings. Another limitation is that attitudes toward knowledge sharing, and knowledge‐sharing behaviors, vary across cultures. Finally, self‐reported data are subject to response bias.

Practical implications

Identifying factors that influence knowledge sharing could help practitioners create a knowledge‐sharing culture that is needed to support knowledge sharing and knowledge management within public sector organizations.


This empirical study will contribute to the theoretical knowledge on knowledge sharing in the public sector, which has been neglected in knowledge‐sharing research.



Titi Amayah, A. (2013), "Determinants of knowledge sharing in a public sector organization", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 454-471.

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Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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