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Knowledge Sharing as Social Exchange: Evidence from a Meta-Analysis

By Chih-Chung Liu, Ting-Peng Liang, Balaji Rajagopalan, V Sambamurthy and Jason Chia-Hsien Wu


Motivating people to contribute knowledge has become an important research topic and a major challenge for organizations. In order to promote knowledge sharing, managers need to understand the mechanism that drives individuals to contribute their valuable knowledge. Several theories have been applied to study knowledge-sharing behavior. However, the research settings and findings are often inconsistent. In this study, we use the social exchange theory as the basis to develop an extended model to explain knowledge-sharing behavior and include IT context as a moderator. A meta-analysis on 52 reported studies was conducted to examine how different factors in the social exchange theory affect knowledge-sharing behavior. The findings indicate that the social exchange theory plays an important role underlying individuals\u27 knowledge-sharing behavior. The results also demonstrate that social interaction and trust canenhance individual\u27s knowledge-sharing behavior. Furthermore, IT facilitation can moderate the effect of social interaction. Available at:

Topics: Knowledge Sharing, Social Exchange Theory, Meta-Research, Knowledge Management
Publisher: AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
Year: 2011
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