What Factors Influence Knowledge Sharing in Organizations? A Social Dilemma Perspective of Social Media Communication

Liana Razmerita, Kathrin Kirchner, Pia Nielsen

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    Purpose: Enterprise social media platforms provide new ways of sharing knowledge and communicating within organizations to benefit from the social capital and valuable knowledge that employees have. Drawing on social dilemma and self-determination theory, the aim of the study is to understand what factors drive employees’ participation and what factors hamper their participation in enterprise social media.
    Design/methodology/approach: Based on a literature review, a unified research model is derived integrating demographic, individual, organizational and technological factors that influence the motivation of employees to share knowledge. The model is tested using statistical methods on a sample of 114 respondents in Denmark. Qualitative data is used to elaborate and explain quantitative findings.
    Findings: Our findings pinpoint towards the general drivers and barriers to knowledge sharing within organizations. The significant drivers are: enjoy helping others, monetary rewards, management support, change of knowledge sharing behavior and recognition. The significant identified barriers to knowledge sharing are: change of behavior, lack of trust and lack of time.
    Practical implications: The proposed knowledge sharing framework helps to understand what factors impact engagement on social media. Furthermore the article suggests different types of interventions to overcome the social dilemma of knowledge sharing.
    Originality/value: The study contributes to an understanding of factors leading to the success or failure of enterprise social media drawing on self-determination and social dilemma theory.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Knowledge Management
    Issue number6
    Pages (from-to)1225-1246
    Number of pages22
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • Motivation
    • Knowledge sharing
    • Communication technologies
    • Enterprise social media engagement
    • Social dilemma

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