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What drives knowledge sharing behavior of individuals?

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Presentation on theme: "What drives knowledge sharing behavior of individuals?"— Presentation transcript:

1 What drives knowledge sharing behavior of individuals?
Dana Minbaeva Associate Professor in Strategic HRM Center of Strategic Management and Globalization Copenhagen Business School Denmark

2 My research All papers are available upon the request

3 Knowledge transfer and HRM
Minbaeva and Michailova (2004) in Employee Relations Minbaeva (2008) in Management International Review Minbaeva et al (2003) in JIBS Knowledge characteristics Sender Knowledge Receiver Absorptive capacity Disseminative capacity Minbaeva, D., Pedersen, T., Bjorkman, I., Fey, C., and Park, H. (2003). MNC Knowledge Transfer, Subsidiary Absorptive Capacity and Knowledge Transfer, Journal of International Business Studies, 34(6), pp Minbaeva, D. and Michailova, S (2004). Knowledge Transfer and Expatriation Practices in MNCs: the role of disseminative capacity, Employee Relations, 26(6), pp Minbaeva, D. (2005). HRM practices and Knowledge Transfer. Personnel Review, 35(1), pp Minbaeva, D. (2007). Knowledge Transfer in Multinational Corporations. Management International Review, 47(4), pp Barren organizational context Organizational environment Minbaeva (2005) in Personnel Review

4 Governance of knowledge processes
Firm: governance mechanisms Firm: knowledge processes’ outcomes Individual: conditions of individual actions Individual: individual knowledge sharing behavior Gooderham, Minbaeva and Pedersen (2010), in Journal of Mgt Studies Minbaeva and Pedersen (2010), in IJSCM Michailova and Minbaeva (2011), forthcoming in International Business Review Foss, Minbaeva, Pedersen and Reinholt (2009) in Human Resource Management Minbaeva, Foss and Snell (2009), Special Issue of Human Resource Management Minbaeva (2008) in International Business Review Minbaeva, Makela and Rabbiosi (2009), SMG Working Paper and under review Minbaeva, D. (2008) HRM Practices Affecting Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation of Knowledge Receivers and Their Effect on Intra-MNC Knowledge Transfer. International Business Review, 17(6), pp Minbaeva, D., Foss, N. and Snell, S. (eds) (2009). Bringing Knowledge Perspective into HRM. Introduction to the Special Issue. Human Resource Management, 48(4), Foss, N., Minbaeva, D., Pedersen, T. and Reinholt, M. (2009) The Impact of Autonomy, Task Identity, and Feedback on Employee Motivation to Share Knowledge. Human Resource Management, 48(6), pp Minbaeva, D. and Pedersen, T. (2010) What Drives Knowledge Sharing Behavior of Individuals? International Journal of Strategic Change Management Gooderham, P., Minbaeva, D. and Pedersen, T. (2011) Governance Mechanisms for the Promotion of Social Capital for Knowledge Transfer in Multinational Corporations. Journal of Management Studies, 48(1), pp Michailova, S. and Minbaeva, D. (2011) Organizational Values and Knowledge Sharing Behavior in MNCs. International Business Review, forthcoming

5 (S)HRM in MNCs Navrbjerg and Minbaeva (2009) in International Journal of Human Resource Management Minbaeva, Hutching and Thomson (2007) in European Journal of International Management Minbaeva and Muratbekova-Touron (2010) in International Journal of Human Resource Management Navrbjerg, S. and Minbaeva, D. (2009) HRM and IR in Multinational Corporations: Uneasy Bedfellows? International Journal of Human Resource Management, 20(8), pp Minbaeva, D., Hutching, K. and Thomson, B. (2007) Hybrid Human Resource Management in Post-Soviet Kazakhstan. European Journal of International Management, 1(4), pp Minbaeva, D. and Muratbekova-Touron, M. (2010) Experience of Canadian and Chinese acquisitions in Kazakhstan. International Journal of Human Resource Management “Employment Practices of Multinationals in Organizational Context”, international project,

6 What drives knowledge sharing behavior of individuals?
Dana Minbaeva and Torben Pedersen Center of Strategic Management and Globalization Copenhagen Business School

7 Rationale Whether knowledge sharing takes place in an organization depends to a great extent on individual organizational members’ decision to share or not the knowledge they possess. in any model of knowledge sharing the knowledge sharing behavior of individuals has to be explained endogenously and on individual level “… there are not so many studies which managed to do so empirically”

8 Why not? (1) The theories in which the discussion of intra-organizational knowledge sharing is nested are usually collective ones (Felin and Hesterly, 2007). Knowledge-based scholars should “carefully revisit their underlying philosophical and theoretical assumptions about the primacy given to collectives and to consider potential individual- level explanations as antecedents to new value creation” (Felin and Hesterly, 2007: 214). Hence to push further the empirical research on knowledge sharing, we need to integrate some individual-level theories – those considering individuals and their actions as the basic units of analysis (Elstner, 1989). Motivation theory

9 Why not? (2) To empirically study knowledge sharing at the individual level, we need individual level data collected at various locations, organizational units, hierarchical levels, etc. That is necessary since individuals are randomly distributed within the organization. Further, the data should be collected from various social groups (gender, age, level of education) since individuals are a priori heterogeneous. Regrettably, previous studies have mainly focused on a more aggregated level (i.e. organizational units) and limited data’s validity by the use of only one respondent per organization – usually a CEO or a general manager.

10 Why not? (3) Just understanding of the conditions of individual action does not mean a lot for managers. Hence, we need to consider managerial interventions (governance mechanisms in Foss, 2007) which managers could employ to appeal to the conditions of individual actions and thereby facilitate individual knowledge sharing behavior.

11 In response … The theory of planned behavior (TPB)
The TPB is an extension of the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) introduced by Fishbein and Ajzen (1975) Aim: to explain behavior of individuals endogenously as determined by its predictors (intentions, attitude, subjective norms and perceived control)

12 The motivation sequence

13 The TPB in a nutshell Source:

14 Why the TPB? The TPB was extensively used to study human behavior and design appropriate behavioral interventions to change behavior by affecting one or more of its determinants The TPB was extensively used to study human behavior and design appropriate interventions to change behavior by affecting one or more of its determinants. The use of this theory allows to explain virtually any human behavior such as why a person buys a new computer, votes against a certain candidate, performs miserably during the exam, etc.

15 Knowledge governance mechanisms
KGA in Foss (2007): governance mechanisms are deployed in the belief that influencing the conditions of individual actions in a certain manner will lead employees to take those decisions that when aggregated lead to favorable organizational outcomes (knowledge acquisition and utilization). Represents a reaction to what it regards as the "methodological collectivism" of explanations of knowledge processes currently dominating the KBV research (Foss, 2007) Understanding of relations between governance mechanisms and knowledge processes implies theorizing individuals (Grant, 1996), individual heterogeneity (Felin and Hesterly, 2007), and individual interaction (Felin and Foss, 2005). Intra-organizational knowledge processes can be influenced and directed through the deployment of governance mechanisms (Foss, 2007) Knowledge governance mechanisms → conditions of individual actions → individual actions → (when aggregated) favorable organizational outcomes, such as knowledge transfer. E.g. theoretically: Foss and Michailova (2009) and empirically Gooderham, Minbaeva and Pedersen(2010)

16 Knowledge governance mechanisms
We propose a number of knowledge governance mechanisms that can be applied to influence the previously identified antecedents of behavioral intentions (attitude, subjective norm and perceived control) and thereby affect knowledge sharing behavior of individuals.

17 Knowledge governance mechanisms
Ajzen (1991): “it is at the level of beliefs that we can learn about the unique factors that induce one person to engage in the behavior of interest” (p ).

18 Knowledge governance mechanisms
three types of governance mechanisms influencing behavioral, normative and control beliefs and label them accordingly as extrinsic rewards (behavioral beliefs) reciprocal schemes ( normative beliefs) and communication mechanisms (control beliefs).

19 Conceptual model H5 Attitude Rewards H2 Knowledge sharing behavior H6
Subjective norm H3 Intention to share H1 Reciprocity schemes H4 H7 Communication mechanisms Perceived control

20 Hypotheses H1. Strong intention to engage in knowledge sharing behavior positively influences the extent of knowledge sharing behavior. H2. A positive attitude toward knowledge sharing positively influences the individual’s intention to share knowledge. H3. Strong subjective norms about knowledge sharing positively influence the individual’s intention to share knowledge. H4. Perceived behavioral control positively influences the individual’s intention to share knowledge H5. The more individuals are externally rewarded for knowledge sharing, the more positive their attitude toward knowledge sharing is. H6. The more individuals are reciprocally rewarded for knowledge sharing, the more positive their subjective norm regarding knowledge sharing is. H7. The more individuals use communication mechanisms, the stronger their perceived behavioral control is.

21 Data Danisco and Chr. Hansen MANDI Questionnaire on Knowledge Sharing
Response rate Danisco: 77.94%; 219 respondents Chr. Hansen: 72.75%; 251 respondents

22 Respondents After consultation with each company’s representative, the distribution of the survey responses was regarded as representative.

23 Measures We used perceptual measures for operationalization of all variables in this study

24 Results 2[127] = 311.5 GFI = 0.93 RMSEA= 0.05

25 Goodness-of-fit statistics for three competing specification of the model

26 Results: antecedents The decision “not-to-share” is individual, often rational and well justified from the perspective of the individual The intention to share knowledge is formed as a combination of the social influence (social norms), an individual’s confidence in her ability to perform the knowledge sharing (perceived control), and the individual’s own attitude toward sharing of knowledge (attitude).

27 Results: governance mechanisms
A positive feedback on past instances of knowledge sharing, being acknowledged of their contribution to the work of others and/or organizational development Availability and use of required resources and opportunities to carry out and successfully complete that behavior

28 Results: BUT! Contrary to commonly accepted practices associated with knowledge management initiatives, a felt need for extrinsic rewards may very well hinder the development of favorable attitudes toward knowledge sharing Such a finding might simply be a reflection of the specific extrinsic rewards applied in two organizations Insights from Motivational Theory on the link between extrinsic motivation and performance (e.g. Vroom) Insights from Creativity Theory(e.g. Amabile) Rewards and knowledge sharing (e.g. Bock et al, 2005; Minbaeva, Makela and Rabbiosi, 2010) Performance Rewards

29 Limitations Our limitations … Future studies … cross-sectional data
two MNCs from Denmark using perceptual instruments Future studies … longitudinal research a wider variety of firms the impact of the external environment (formal and informal institutions) more elaborate measures, combining perceptual ones with some objective indicators

30 Implications The use of external rewards seems surprisingly enough to be counterproductive in creating a positive attitude toward knowledge sharing. The interactions of governance mechanisms - complementarity effect (which could be negative, neutral or positive)

31 To conclude We need to push HRM scholars out of their
“natural comfort zone” (Becker and Huselid, 2006: 900) which assumes the aggregation of individuals, existence of an “average individual” and no differences in individual perception of external stimulus and reaction to that.


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