CEC Theses and Dissertations

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Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems (DISS)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Ling Wang

Committee Member

Souren Paul

Committee Member

Cynthia Ruppel

Abstract

Knowledge has been recognized as an important intangible asset to gain competitive advantage for organizations. Many firms invest and deploy knowledge management (KM) practices to manage the knowledge asset effectively. KM practices are context-specific since context acts as a governance mechanism of how employees behave. The deployment of KM practices, in turn, will be varied based on the organizational context differences. These differences can be both KM barriers and important enablers. Moreover, a successful KM project is believed to be associated with the organization design and structuring of knowledge assets, information technology, and people.

This research examined organizational context influences on knowledge sharing, one of the KM practices. More specifically, this research model focused on three organizational context factors - organizational structure, organizational culture, and information technology - and their roles on the sharing of two types of knowledge assets: tacit and explicit. Organizational context constitutes the environment where knowledge sharing practices take place. The goal of this research was to detect and explain the environment and to provide both academics and practitioners with the empirical evidence relating to the knowledge sharing enablers.

A survey research study was conducted to obtain a comprehensive understanding of how organizational context influenced employees' knowledge sharing intentions, based on a social-technical perspective. The results identified key factors (such as organizational norms, innovation, and specialization) that contributed to promoting individual knowledge sharing intention. It also indicated that social factors, compared to the technical factor, were more likely to stimulate knowledge sharing. The findings supported extant studies, lending credibility to the results. Additionally, this research extended the literature on knowledge sharing by simultaneously considering individual intention to share two forms of knowledge assets: tacit and explicit.

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