Assessment of employees’ attitudes and intentions to share knowledge based on their individual characteristics

Raluca Roxana Raducanu

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

This master’s thesis elucidates on the importance of individual characteristics of employees in the relationship between communication and motivation factors and employees’ attitudes and intentions of sharing knowledge. This assertion is rooted in the growing argument that knowledge sharing is highly dependent on the individuals’ willingness to share with others what they know. A tendency that has risen out of the considerations that knowledge is mostly embodied in individuals’ minds, thus difficult to express and share. Therefore, knowledge sharing within organizations seems to be still the exception rather than the rule. Having this as a point of departure and the fact that the literature focuses more on the technological systems as facilitators for knowledge sharing, I have chosen to investigate more in detail the people-focused approach. It is argued that social interactions between individuals enhance knowledge sharing by getting to know each other and communicate. For this reason, a game (typicalTM) has been chosen to be played, as a practice of bringing people together and as a ground for a shared experience. More to the point, the game is based on the nine personality types system, called Enneagram, hence it has facilitated an easy and fun way to get insights about different personality traits and behaviors. Three groups of participants were observed while playing the game, while after it they were given a questionnaire that addressed their perspective on knowledge sharing and how the game contributed to their experience. The theories applied for the present study span different scientific fields within the organizational behavior, e.g. personality traits, motivation, communication, management. Following the action research method to plan the study and select the data collection methods, valuable learning and knowledge have emerged. The field experiment – game playing – provided for a significant finding, offering a shared experience, a point of departure for a better communication and understanding between individuals that further on facilitates knowledge sharing. However, no direct relation has been established between playing the game and the level of trust or the easiness to share knowledge. Nonetheless, the personality traits revealed preferred ways of communication, intrinsic motivation to share knowledge, along with the importance of knowing the persons with whom the knowledge is shared or of the relevancy of what is shared.

EducationsMSocSc in Management of Creative Business Processes , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2012
Number of pages85