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Informal learning effort and attitude toward knowledge sharing in times of workplace conflict: curious case of joyous exploration and deprivation sensitivity

Sharath Baburaj (OB and HR Area, Indian Institute of Management Ranchi, Ranchi, India)
Manish Kumar (OB and HR Area, Indian Institute of Management Ranchi, Ranchi, India)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 4 October 2021

Issue publication date: 13 December 2022

315

Abstract

Purpose

The study examined the impact of two dimensions of curiosity: joyous exploration (JE) and deprivation sensitivity (DSv) on informal learning effort (ILE) and attitude toward knowledge sharing (ATKS). The authors further explored the mediating effect of learning culture (LC) in the organization on the relationship of the two curiosity dimensions with ILE and ATKS. Additionally, the authors investigated the moderating effect of group dynamics in the form of intragroup task conflict (ITC) and relationship conflict (IRC) on the relationship of curiosity variables with LC, ILE and ATKS.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey instrument was distributed to 790 knowledge workers in various organizations through their HR managers. 403 responses were returned and used in the study.

Findings

JE, the self-determined manifestation of curiosity, impacts all elements of ILE and ATKS, while DSv influences a few aspects of ILE. The effect of JE on the dependent variables is, however, more substantial at low levels of ITC. ITC and IRC independently impact ILE, but only ITC moderates the relationships involving JE (but not DSv). LC emerges from JE (but not from DSv) and partially mediates its association with ILE and ATKS.

Originality/value

Through this work, we demonstrate the differential relevance of the curiosity dimensions and the intragroup conflict types – and their interaction effect – on learning effort and attitude toward knowledge sharing. The findings of the study open new avenues for interventions within the workplace learning and knowledge sharing domain.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Both the authors had contributed equally to the manuscript

Citation

Baburaj, S. and Kumar, M. (2022), "Informal learning effort and attitude toward knowledge sharing in times of workplace conflict: curious case of joyous exploration and deprivation sensitivity", Personnel Review, Vol. 51 No. 9, pp. 2328-2346. https://doi.org/10.1108/PR-09-2020-0669

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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