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Journal cover: Journal of Knowledge Management

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Online from: 1997

Subject Area: Information and Knowledge Management

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Goal orientations and the motivation to share knowledge

Document Information:
Title:Goal orientations and the motivation to share knowledge
Author(s):Michele Swift, (Assistant Professor of Management at the College of Business, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA), David B. Balkin, (Professor of Management, based at the Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA), Sharon F. Matusik, (Assistant Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship, based at the Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA)
Citation:Michele Swift, David B. Balkin, Sharon F. Matusik, (2010) "Goal orientations and the motivation to share knowledge", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 14 Iss: 3, pp.378 - 393
Keywords:Knowledge management, Knowledge sharing, Social values
Article type:Conceptual paper
DOI:10.1108/13673271011050111 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:Received 8 May 2009. Accepted 7 October 2009. The authors would like to thank Linda Argote and Stuart Bunderson for their helpful comments on an earlier draft of this paper.

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to develop a model that takes into account both personal and contextual factors in explaining individuals' motivation to share their knowledge.

Design/methodology/approachDrawing from research on achievement motivation and social exchange, it is posited that goal orientations provide a framework for individuals' knowledge sharing by shaping how they cognitively value the costs and benefits associated with sharing their knowledge. It is argued each of the goal orientations is associated with preferences for sharing specific types of knowledge and is that a focus on different aspects of the knowledge provider-recipient relationship.

Research limitations/implicationsThe model provides a possible explanation for some of the inconsistencies in existing knowledge-sharing research on the factors that motivate knowledge sharing as well as expanding understanding of the conditions that facilitate knowledge sharing.

Practical implicationsFor organizations to encourage the desired knowledge sharing, they may need to maintain human resource management (HRM) practices that recognize the different motivations associated with each of the goal orientations.

Originality/valueThe model developed integrates research on goal orientations and knowledge transfer to expand understanding of how individuals cognitively value the costs and benefits of sharing their knowledge.

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