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An investigation of the impact of interpersonal and institutional trust on knowledge sharing in companies: invisible hands for knowledge sharing

Farzad Sabetzadeh (Faculty of Business, City University of Macau, Macau S.A.R., China)
Yanzi Chen (Faculty of Business, City University of Macau, Macau S.A.R., China)

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems

ISSN: 2059-5891

Article publication date: 7 February 2023

169

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the impact of different subtypes of trust on the willingness of companies to share knowledge. To measure improvement in work performance, three perspectives of interpersonal trust, institution-based trust and their combined effect on fostering trust are examined.

Design/methodology/approach

A comparative analysis and quantitative measurement are used in this study (with a sample size of 147) to determine which knowledge-sharing channels need to be established to increase effectiveness and efficiency.

Findings

This study found that both interpersonal and institutional trust can positively influence employees' willingness to share personal knowledge. Despite this, the combination of these two types of trust cannot outperform the scenarios in which one type of trust can reach its maximum. As a result of institutional trust, trustees are more likely to trust others when they feel protected.

Research limitations/implications

Trust may take on multiple dimensions in different business contexts and industries. In this study, the limited sample size and domain may only reveal some of these aspects of trust, which may not be representative of other contexts.

Originality/value

Few researchers have examined the degree of trust and its impact on knowledge dissemination using relevant parameters. Their focus is solely on the interaction between interpersonal trust and knowledge sharing. As a result of this study, the concept of “trust” was quantified, with more tangible metrics to provide better estimates when assessed in different business contexts.

Keywords

Citation

Sabetzadeh, F. and Chen, Y. (2023), "An investigation of the impact of interpersonal and institutional trust on knowledge sharing in companies: invisible hands for knowledge sharing", VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/VJIKMS-06-2022-0206

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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