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The impact of a pandemic on knowledge sharing behavior: a COR perspective

Sudeepta Pradhan (Department of Marketing & Strategy, ICFAI Business School, IFHE Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India)
Makhmoor Bashir (Department of Business Administration, College of Business and Economics, Qassim University, Buraydah, Saudi Arabia)
Sweta Singh (Department of Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management, Indian Institute of Management Amritsar, Amritsar, India)

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems

ISSN: 2059-5891

Article publication date: 10 August 2022

Issue publication date: 7 March 2023




The purpose of this study is to look at the attitudes of the employees in terms of sharing knowledge during COVID-19 in an online environment and the various difficulties associated and to analyze knowledge sharing (KS) in a virtual office setting, using the conservation of resources theory.


A qualitative approach was used by conducting face-to-face interviews online through GoogleMeet, Skype and Zoom. A total of 34 interviews from 14 multinational companies (or their subsidiaries), in a supervisory role, were conducted for the study. A thematic analysis was conducted to analyze the responses.


During a crisis, the tendency of employees to share knowledge at the individual, team and organizational level increases and is interlinked. The results of this study suggest that during the initial phases of lockdown, the creativity levels among employees were high; however, as the work from the office got postponed because of extended lockdowns, the creativity level of employees saw a dip. Furthermore, the findings of this study also highlighted that KS in remotely located teams was found to be dependent on the extent to which the team members knew each other, such that known teams were in a better position to share knowledge than a newly formed team with unknown or less known members.

Research limitations/implications

This study has 34 respondents which is an acceptable number for a qualitative inquiry. However, the number of industries could be increased for generalization purposes. Responses were collected from a group of knowledge workers who were willing to correspond digitally, using social media channels of the authors, such as Linkedin. Responses collected personally could provide different results.

Practical implications

This study provides insights into visible change in organizational processes. The conceptual model developed in this study has several implications which will help chief knowledge officers to understand why the various individual, team and organizational factors lead to KS, particularly with respect to COVID-19.


This study has explored a contemporary phenomenon – KS during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, in an online environment. This study depicts the extant literature on knowledge management during a pandemic, thus bridging the scholarly gap. This study tried to bring in a broader perspective by selecting respondents across continents, domains and varied age groups. Fourth, most studies analyzing KS/knowledge hiding in the extant literature, especially during the pandemic, have followed a quantitative approach. This study followed a qualitative approach to gain insights into the KS of the firm and the thoughts and practicalities behind it.



Pradhan, S., Bashir, M. and Singh, S. (2023), "The impact of a pandemic on knowledge sharing behavior: a COR perspective", VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, Vol. 53 No. 2, pp. 271-291.



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