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Social Exchange and Knowledge Sharing among Knowledge Workers: The Moderating Role of Perceived Job Security


  • Kathryn M. Bartol
  • Wei Liu
  • Xiangquan Zeng
  • Kelu Wu


Drawing on perceived organizational support (POS) theory and employee-organizational relationship theories, this research investigated the association between POS and knowledge sharing as well as the potential moderating effects of perceived job security. Study participants were 255 information technology professionals and their supervisors working in the information technology industry in China. Findings showed that POS was positively related to knowledge sharing, and, as expected, perceived job security moderated the association. More specifically, the positive association between POS and employee knowledge sharing held only for employees who perceived higher job security from their organization. In contrast, POS was not significantly associated with knowledge sharing when employees perceived their job security to be relatively low. This latter result is consistent with contentions from employee-organizational relationships theories that limited investment by employers is likely to lead to lower contributions from employees. The findings are also congruent with arguments from social exchange theory that meaningful reciprocity is built on a history of open-ended exchanges whose development may be inconsistent with a shorter-term employment horizon.
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Suggested Citation

  • Kathryn M. Bartol & Wei Liu & Xiangquan Zeng & Kelu Wu, 2009. "Social Exchange and Knowledge Sharing among Knowledge Workers: The Moderating Role of Perceived Job Security," Management and Organization Review, The International Association for Chinese Management Research, vol. 5(2), pages 223-240, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:mgorev:v:5:y:2009:i:2:p:223-240

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    Cited by:

    1. Burmeister, Anne & Lazarova, Mila B. & Deller, Jürgen, 2018. "Repatriate knowledge transfer: Antecedents and boundary conditions of a dyadic process," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 53(6), pages 806-816.
    2. Pittino, Daniel & Barroso Martínez, Ascensión & Chirico, Francesco & Sanguino Galván, Ramón, 2018. "Psychological ownership, knowledge sharing and entrepreneurial orientation in family firms: The moderating role of governance heterogeneity," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 312-326.
    3. Usama Najam & Aneeq Inam & Hayat Muhammad Awan & Muhammad Abbas, 2018. "The Interactive Role of Temporal Team Leadership in the Telecom Sector of Pakistan: Utilizing Temporal Diversity for Sustainable Knowledge Sharing," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(5), pages 1-18, April.
    4. Natàlia Cugueró-Escofet & Pilar Ficapal-Cusí & Joan Torrent-Sellens, 2019. "Sustainable Human Resource Management: How to Create a Knowledge Sharing Behavior through Organizational Justice, Organizational Support, Satisfaction and Commitment," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(19), pages 1-20, September.
    5. Grund, Christian & Thommes, Kirsten, 2015. "Disentangling the Role of Contract Types and Sector Disparities for Public Service Motivation," IZA Discussion Papers 9385, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Christian Grund & Kirsten Thommes, 2017. "The Role of Contract Types for Employees’ Public Service Motivation," Schmalenbach Business Review, Springer;Schmalenbach-Gesellschaft, vol. 18(4), pages 377-398, October.
    7. Janice Francis Super & Teresa K. Betts & Heath Keller & Joy Roach Humphreys, 2020. "Simulation Game Outcomes: A Multilevel Examination of Knowledge Sharing Norms, Transactive Memory Systems, and Individual Learning Goal Orientations," Simulation & Gaming, , vol. 51(6), pages 830-858, December.
    8. Guoquan Chen & Dean Tjosvold, 2012. "Shared rewards and goal interdependence for psychological safety among departments in China," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 433-452, June.

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