Relational models for knowledge sharing behavior

Niels Ingvar Boer, Hans Berends, Peter Van Baalen

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In this paper we explore the relational dimension of knowledge sharing behavior by proposing a comprehensive theoretical framework for studying knowledge sharing in organizations. This theoretical framework originates from Fiske's (1991, 1992) Relational Models Theory (RMT). The RMT distinguishes four relational models: communal sharing, authority ranking, equality matching and market pricing. We conducted two case studies and investigated how people use different relational models for their knowledge sharing activities. Based on case studies of a governmental organization and an industrial research group, we describe how the relational context guides knowledge sharing behavior. We show that the willingness to share knowledge is rooted in different relational models and that people only share knowledge when they share similar relational models. Furthermore, effective knowledge sharing takes place when incentive systems and knowledge management systems are appropriated to the relational model in use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-97
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Management Journal
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011

Fingerprint

Relational model
Knowledge sharing
Theoretical framework
Willingness
Industrial research
Pricing
System management
Equality
Knowledge management systems
Ranking
Authority
Incentive systems

Keywords

  • Conflict
  • Congruence
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Knowledge sharing behavior
  • Motivation
  • Overdetermination
  • Relational models

Cite this

Boer, Niels Ingvar ; Berends, Hans ; Van Baalen, Peter. / Relational models for knowledge sharing behavior. In: European Management Journal. 2011 ; Vol. 29, No. 2. pp. 85-97.
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Relational models for knowledge sharing behavior. / Boer, Niels Ingvar; Berends, Hans; Van Baalen, Peter.

In: European Management Journal, Vol. 29, No. 2, 04.2011, p. 85-97.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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