S-Space College of Business Administration/Business School (경영대학/대학원) Dept. of Business Administration (경영학과) Theses (Ph.D. / Sc.D._경영학과)
The Relationship between Coworker Support and Knowledge Sharing
동료지원과 지식공유에 관한 연구
- 경영대학 경영학과
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 대학원
- Person-focused Coworker Support; Task-focused Coworker Support; Knowledge Sharing; Abusive Supervision; Work-family Conflict; Task Complexity; Task Ambiguity
- 학위논문 (박사)-- 서울대학교 대학원 : 경영대학 경영학과, 2018. 2. 윤석화.
- In today’s knowledge-based economy, many organizations have adopted flatter organizational and team-based structures. As a result, work needs more frequent and more meaningful lateral interactions among coworkers. Reflecting these changes in the work environment, researchers have paid increasing attention to the role of coworkers. In this context, this study focuses on the importance of coworkers by examining a comprehensive model of coworker support of knowledge sharing behavior in organizations. Knowledge sharing represents a fragile process that instigates a conflicting choice between cooperation and competition—to either cooperate with others by sharing his/her resources, or to compete others by restoring his/her valuable skills and knowledge to gain an advantage. Thus, coworker influences are important in reducing this dilemma related to sharing knowledge. To solve this knowledge sharing dilemma, this study examines two different dimensions of coworker support as an important antecedent of knowledge sharing behavior. In addition, to fully understand and predict coworker support, this study introduces important situational conditions that enhance the relationships between the two dimensions of coworker support and knowledge sharing behavior. On the basis of social exchange theory combined with the target similarity framework, this study identifies person-related and task-related moderators as matched constructs that make primary relationships stronger. In particular, whereas person-related stressors from different sources should have a more dominant influence on the relationship between person-focused coworker support and knowledge sharing, task-related stressors should have a more dominant influence on the relationship between task-focused coworker support and knowledge sharing. The hypotheses of this dissertation were tested using data from 308 employee-coworker dyads. Data were collected from surveys distributed to employees and their coworkers located in South Korea. The results show that person-focused coworker support is positively related to knowledge sharing behavior, but task-focused coworker support is not significantly related. Among four moderating effects, work-family conflict and task complexity were positively significant. Abusive supervision and task ambiguity were significant, but the direction was the opposite of what was expected.
The current findings make some important contributions to the existing literature. First, this study extends the literature on individual knowledge sharing behavior by investigating coworkers as specific targets for which employees are motivated to engage in attitudes and behaviors that are favorable to the targets. An individual’s motivation for sharing knowledge with a coworker comes from the immediate target beneficiary of the person’s knowledge sharing behavior. Second, the study contributes to the literature on social support by simultaneously investigating two types of coworker support in order to uncover the true effects of specific coworker support of knowledge sharing behavior. Third, this study also provides some support for the target similarity model by demonstrating that two foci simultaneously interact with the two constructs of person-related and task-related stressors. Lastly, this study shows that the influence of a coworker support of knowledge sharing behavior should be understood in terms of the extent to which the relevant situation provides cues to increase a coworker’s reciprocating decisions. Overall, by taking a more fine-grained or precise approach as recommended by the target similarity model, this study may further improve the ability to understand and predict these forms of behavior.
Despite its limitations due to a cross-sectional design and limited variables, this study advances the understanding of knowledge sharing behavior by examining different dimensions of coworker support and constructing relevant moderating factors in one framework. The interesting findings and limitations notwithstanding, it is hoped that this study spurs other researchers to further deepen the understanding of coworker influence and knowledge sharing behavior in an organization.