Knowledge sharing is an important individual behavior that benefits teams and organizations. However, little is known about environments with both team and individual rewards. The purpose of this study is to investigate high-ability team members’ knowledge sharing in an environment with both team and individual rewards. The motivation, opportunity and ability framework was specifically applied to a work situation with face-to-face interaction and objective performance measures.
Survey data were gathered from college baseball players in varied regions of the USA.
Unexpectedly, individual ability was negatively related to individual knowledge sharing. However, as pro-sharing norms increased, all players reported higher knowledge sharing, especially the highest-ability players.
Limitations include that the sample is small and team members were not from the same teams, prohibiting aggregation to a higher level of analysis. The study is cross-sectional and self-reported, as well. The sample was homogeneous and young.
In work environments where rewards are both individual- and team-based, the high performers may ignore team knowledge sharing because they are more successful working as individuals.
In work environments where rewards are both individual- and team-based, the high performers may ignore team knowledge sharing because they are more successful working as individuals. Development of pro-sharing norms can be critical for encouraging these team members with the potential to have a strong impact on the lower-performing team members, as well as to inspire further knowledge sharing.
The baseball team member sample is unique because of the team and individual performance aspects that include objective ability measures.
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