An investigation of the impact of extrinsic and intrinsic motivators on organisational knowledge sharing
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Commerce
A major challenge for knowledge management concerns motivating people to share their knowledge with others. Many companies address this challenge by implementing sophisticated knowledge management systems. However, despite investments in knowledge management systems and practices, significant failure rates are being reported. Studies show that an important reason for this is that people are often reluctant to share their personal knowledge. It is therefore key for companies to understand the factors that influence employee attitudes toward knowledge sharing. Previous research on motivation has attempted to understand employee attitudes, intentions and behavior in relation to organizational knowledge sharing. However, few studies have provided a comprehensive model that includes a key set of extrinsic and intrinsic motivators for knowledge sharing, such as self-efficacy, meaningfulness, impact, tangible rewards, verbal rewards, anticipated reciprocal benefits and reputation and examined their relationship with knowledge sharing attitude and intention. The objective of this research is to fill that gap by investigating how the salient intrinsic and extrinsic motivators influence knowledge sharing attitude and intention. From an extensive review of the literature, a research model was proposed and hypotheses were developed to explore the answers to the research questions. Data was collected through a survey in organizations in New Zealand and Partial Least Squares Path Modeling was used to analyze the data. Empirical results showed intention to share knowledge was determined by attitude towards knowledge sharing and self-efficacy, meaningfulness, anticipated reciprocal relationships and reputation had a significant impact on the attitude towards knowledge sharing. This research contributes to the knowledge sharing literature by providing a comprehensive model of knowledge sharing motivators, including motivators that have been largely ignored in prior studies, and by empirically examining the influence of the key intrinsic and extrinsic motivators on attitude towards knowledge sharing. Furthermore, this research benefits companies that are using or setting up knowledge management systems and practices by allowing them to better understand how to encourage employees to engage in knowledge sharing.