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Motivating knowledge sharing through a knowledge management system


  • King, William R.
  • Marks, Peter Jr.


Based on both economic and sociological theory, the effects of supervisory control and organizational support on the frequency and effort of individuals in contributing their personally held valuable knowledge to a "best practices-lessons learned, repository-based" knowledge management system (KMS) were compared. Supervisory control, as expected, had significant impact on frequency, but it also had unexpectedly significant influence on effort. When system variables--usefulness and ease of use--were controlled for, the organizational support measure had little effect on either outcome. These results provide greater support for economic-agency-theory motivators of knowledge sharing and lesser support for organizational support motivators than has been previously believed. They also emphasize the important impact of systems variables in motivating KMS use. Since the study was conducted in a government (joint civilian-military) organization, the organizational type may significantly influence the results. However, since the result is contrary to the conventional wisdom that suggests that a "knowledge-sharing culture" is all-important, at the very least, this study shows that the nature of the organization may moderate the relationship between the motivational approach and the outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • King, William R. & Marks, Peter Jr., 2008. "Motivating knowledge sharing through a knowledge management system," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 131-146, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jomega:v:36:y:2008:i:1:p:131-146

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    Cited by:

    1. Li, Yung-Ming & Jhang-Li, Jhih-Hua, 2010. "Knowledge sharing in communities of practice: A game theoretic analysis," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 207(2), pages 1052-1064, December.
    2. repec:jes:wpaper:y:2011:v:3:p:537-555 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Bekaroo, Girish & Bokhoree, Chandradeo & Pattinson, Colin, 2016. "Impacts of ICT on the natural ecosystem: A grassroot analysis for promoting socio-environmental sustainability," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 1580-1595.
    4. Donate, Mario J. & Sánchez de Pablo, Jesús D., 2015. "The role of knowledge-oriented leadership in knowledge management practices and innovation," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 360-370.
    5. repec:ers:journl:v:xx:y:2017:i:3b:p:16-26 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Ramona – Diana Leon & Adrian Lupu & Anca – Codruþa Manolache, 2011. "Knowledge Management Tools For The European Knowledge Based Society," CES Working Papers, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 3(4), pages 537-555, December.
    7. Ming-Tien Tsai & Hsiu-Ching Chang & Nai-Chang Cheng & Chung-Chang Lien, 2013. "Understanding IT professionals’ knowledge sharing intention through KMS: a social exchange perspective," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 47(5), pages 2739-2753, August.
    8. repec:ssi:jouesi:v:5:y:2017:i:2:p:315-329 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:ers:journl:v:xx:y:2017:i:3a:p:18-34 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. André Luhn & Sergey Aslanyan & Christian Leopoldseder & Pamela Priess, 2017. "An evaluation of knowledge management system's components and its financial and non-financial implications," Post-Print hal-01706869, HAL.
    11. Holsapple, Clyde W. & Lee-Post, Anita, 2010. "Behavior-based analysis of knowledge dissemination channels in operations management," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 167-178, June.


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