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Knowledge Creation and Sharing in Organisational Contexts: A Motivation-Based Perspective

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  • Lam, Alice
  • Lambermont-Ford, Jean-Paul

Abstract

This paper develops a motivation-based perspective to explore how organisations resolve the social dilemma of knowledge sharing, and the ways in which different motivational mechanisms interact to foster knowledge sharing and creation in different organisational contexts. The core assumption is that the willingness of organisational members to engage in knowledge sharing can be viewed on a continuum from purely opportunistic behaviour regulated by extrinsic incentives to an apparently altruistic stance fostered by social norms and group identity. The analysis builds on a three-category taxonomy of motivation: adding ‘hedonic’ motivation to the traditional dichotomy of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Based on an analysis of empirical case studies in the literature, we argue that the interaction and mix of the three different motivators play a key role in regulating and translating potential into actual behaviour, and they underline the complex dynamics of knowledge sharing and creation in different organisational contexts.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 11488.

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Date of creation: Jul 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:11488

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Keywords: Knowledge sharing; tacit knowledge; motivation; incentives; organizational learning; human resource practices;

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  1. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 489-520.
  2. Nicolai J. Foss, 2001. "Selective Intervention and Internal HybridsInterpreting and Learning from the Rise and Decline of the Oticon Spaghetti Organization," DRUID Working Papers 01-16, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  3. Margit Osterloh & Jetta Frost & Bruno Frey, 2002. "The Dynamics of Motivation in New Organizational Forms," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 61-77.
  4. Frey, Bruno S & Jegen, Reto, 2001. " Motivation Crowding Theory," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(5), pages 589-611, December.
  5. Richard N. Langlois & Nicolai J. Foss, 1996. "Capabilities and Governance the Rebirth of Production in the Theory of Economic Organization," Working papers 1996-02, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  6. Morris, Timothy & Empson, Laura, 1998. "Organisation and expertise: An exploration of knowledge bases and the management of accounting and consulting firms," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 23(5-6), pages 609-624.
  7. Prencipe, Andrea & Tell, Fredrik, 2001. "Inter-project learning: processes and outcomes of knowledge codification in project-based firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 1373-1394, December.
  8. Henry Mintzberg, 1980. "Structure in 5's: A Synthesis of the Research on Organization Design," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(3), pages 322-341, March.
  9. Lindenberg, Siegwart, 2001. "Intrinsic Motivation in a New Light," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2-3), pages 317-42.
  10. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
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