CCE Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems (DISS)


Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences


Timothy J. Ellis

Committee Member

Maxine S. Cohen

Committee Member

Vincent Scovetta


Information technology, Information science, Social research, ICT, knowledge management, knowledge sharing, locus of control, role ambiguity, role conflict


Knowledge management literature identifies numerous barriers that inhibit employees' knowledge seeking and knowledge contributing practices via information and communication technologies (ICTs). Presently, there is a significant gap in the literature that explains what factors promote common knowledge sharing barriers. To bridge this gap, this study examined two research questions: 1) What are the potential factors that contribute to the commonly accepted barriers to knowledge sharing?, and 2) How do these factors impact employees' use of ICTs for knowledge seeking and knowledge contributing? Literature review of 103 knowledge management articles identified three major barriers to knowledge sharing practices (lack of time, poor communication skills, and lack of trust) and three underlying factors that promoted these barriers (role conflict, role ambiguity, and locus of control). A six-stage content analysis study of the 103 knowledge articles identified 199 references to the observed contributors.

To address the second research question, a causal knowledge sharing model was developed and seven hypotheses proposed. A survey consisting of 41 questions was distributed to 1,368 full-time analysts from a variety of industries, and 314 useful responses were analyzed using confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling. The results confirmed that role conflict, role ambiguity, and locus of control predicted knowledge seeking and knowledge contributing behaviors via ICTs. Moreover, type of ICTs used was found to moderate the strength of these predictors.

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