CEC Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Steven Zink

Committee Member

Timothy J Ellis

Committee Member

Marlyn Littman

Abstract

Although the literature indicates that knowledge sharing (KS) research is prevalent in the private sector, there is scant empirical research data about KS in the public sector. Moreover, organizations lack an understanding of employee KS behavior. This study investigated two research questions: First, how does the perceived importance of five determinants of KS behavior (organizational culture, workplace trust, incentives, management support, and technology) vary based upon the variables of job function, gender, and work category? Second, what is the relative importance of the five determinants of KS behavior to U.S. federal government employees? This descriptive study employed a Web-based survey methodology and interviews to collect data. The survey was administered to 121 employees in a single U.S. government organization, with a response rate of 69%. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences was used for data analysis, and the multivariate analysis of variance and analysis of variance statistical techniques were used to compare variables. The study findings indicated no statistical differences in perceptions of the five facets investigated relative to the variables of work category, gender, and job function, and no statistical differences in the importance among the five determinates investigated. As a result, the null hypotheses were not rejected. Additional findings were that respondents perceived the five facets investigated to be positive KS determinants and that they agreed or strongly agreed that each facet was important to the success of KS initiatives. Although the results indicated no statistically significant difference between the five facets investigated, the results support literature findings that the five facets are important to the KS process. The investigation also advances the current state of KS implementation in the public sector by providing empirical data on a subject that is rarely investigated in the U.S. federal government. Future studies in similar and larger organizations are recommended. The investigation is a positive step toward improving the understanding of the determinants that affect employee KS behavior and provides a tool for KS planners to use to ascertain the state of KS in their organizations.

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