Top management support and knowledge sharing: The strategic role of affiliation and trust in academic environment

Man Fung LO, Feng TIAN, Peggy Mei Lan NG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Purpose - Knowledge sharing, the most important process in knowledge management, enables knowledge-intensive organizations to foster innovations and to gain competitiveness. Universities, the best contemporary embodiments of knowledge-intensive organizations, nowadays face fiercer competition in the changing world. Knowledge sharing is the key for academic departments to gain competitive advantages through innovation. However, limited studies examined the relationships between top management support, knowledge sharing and affiliation and trust. Based on the literature review, this study developed a research model which aims to examine the relationship between top management support and knowledge sharing, and the mediating role played by affiliation and trust.
Design/methodology/approach - A questionnaire survey was conducted in eight universities in Hong Kong. Data gathered from 109 professoriate staff (including chairs, professors and [research] associate/assistant professors) were used to test the four hypotheses in the research model with partial least squares structural equation modeling.
Findings - The results showed that top management support has a positive impact on affiliation and trust, and that affiliation and trust also have a positive impact on knowledge sharing. However, this study showed an insignificant linkage between top management support and knowledge sharing. Therefore, this study confirmed the mediating role played by affiliation and trust.
Practical implications - Based on the results, this study provided recommendations on how academic management and knowledge management consultants increase the faculty members’ affiliation and trust, for instance, mentoring, performance appraisal system, social interactions and communication pathways.
Originality/value - The findings of this study contribute to the literature in two ways. First, affiliation and trust are two interplayed elements of team climate that should be considered together. Second, this study validates affiliation and trust as a full mediator between top management support and knowledge sharing. Copyright © 2021 Emerald Publishing Limited.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Knowledge Management
Early online date01 Mar 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 01 Mar 2021

Citation

Lo, M. F., Tian, F., & Ng, P. M. L. (2021). Top management support and knowledge sharing: The strategic role of affiliation and trust in academic environment. Journal of Knowledge Management. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1108/JKM-10-2020-0800

Keywords

  • Higher education
  • Top management support
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Trust
  • Affiliation

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