Date of Award

12-1-2010

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Workforce Education and Development

First Advisor

Calvin, Jennifer

Second Advisor

Waugh, Christopher

Abstract

There is a lack of understanding of the factors that determine one's motivation to share knowledge within a public sector community of practice. Additionally, the impact of knowledge sharing in communities of practice on the work performance of members remains under-investigated. The purpose of this study was first to investigate how motivational factors, enablers and barriers influence knowledge sharing within a community of practice in a public organization and, second, to examine how community of practice members' work performance is associated with knowledge sharing. Findings are as follow. First, all three motivating factors considered in the study, community related considerations, normative considerations, and personal benefits, were found to have a unique contribution to the variance in knowledge sharing. Second, results showed that three enablers have a significant main effect on knowledge sharing: social interaction, reward, and support. Third, two of the four barriers, degree of courage and degree of empathy, which measured organizational culture, were found to have a significant main effect on knowledge sharing. Fourth, the interaction of normative consideration with social interaction, personal benefit with support, and normative considerations with courage had a moderating effect on the relationship between motivating factors and knowledge sharing. Fifth, there was a moderate positive correlation between knowledge sharing and work performance. Trust and reward were not significant predictors of one's willingness to share knowledge in a community of practice

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