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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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Promoting professionals' innovative behaviour through knowledge sharing: the moderating role of social capital


Document Information:
Title:Promoting professionals' innovative behaviour through knowledge sharing: the moderating role of social capital
Author(s):Matteo Mura, (Based at the Department of Management, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy), Emanuele Lettieri, (Based at the Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy), Giovanni Radaelli, (Based at the Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy), Nicola Spiller, (Based at the Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy)
Citation:Matteo Mura, Emanuele Lettieri, Giovanni Radaelli, Nicola Spiller, (2013) "Promoting professionals' innovative behaviour through knowledge sharing: the moderating role of social capital", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 17 Iss: 4, pp.527 - 544
Keywords:Health care, Hospice and palliative care organizations, Innovation, Innovative behaviour, Knowledge management, Knowledge sharing, Social capital
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/JKM-03-2013-0105 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:Received: 18 March 2013. Accepted 5 April 2013.
Abstract:

PurposeThis study aims to offer new insights to further the understanding on the relevance of engaging employees in knowledge sharing behaviours in order to improve current operations.

Design/methodology/approachThe authors' conceptual model proposes a direct relationship between knowledge sharing behaviours and employees' innovative behaviour, moderated by employees' perception of social capital. Six hypotheses were developed from the literature, grounded and tested among 198 employees of four hospices and palliative care organisations (H&PCOs) for dying cancer patients. All constructs were measured using multiple-item scales that were adapted from previous related studies. The authors' hypotheses were tested using seemingly unrelated regression (SUR).

FindingsThis study has three main results. First, the authors found a positive role of knowledge sharing behaviours in affecting sharers' innovativeness, in terms of propensity and capacity to promote and implement new ideas. Second, sharing best practices and sharing mistakes are two distinct drivers of individuals' innovativeness. Third, individuals' perceptions of social capital have a relevant moderation effect on the linkage between knowledge sharing and innovative behaviour.

Originality/valuePast research posited that knowledge sharing is convenient for others, and possibly at the expense of sharers' best interest. The authors' research was grounded on a different notion of knowledge sharing as: a self-interested behaviour, which individuals deploy to generate a norm of reciprocity among knowledge recipients, which might create future benefits in the short term; and an improvement process, which individuals can use to translate new ideas into workable innovations.



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