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Keywords:

  • job design;
  • job characteristics;
  • types of motivation;
  • knowledge sharing

Abstract

Job design is one of the most frequently researched practices in the Human Resource Management (HRM) literature, and knowledge sharing has become an important and heavily researched managerial practice. The links between these practices, however, have received little attention in the literature. We argue that job design matters to knowledge sharing for motivational reasons. Specifically, jobs contain characteristics that stimulate different kinds of motivation toward knowledge sharing, which have different effects on individual knowledge sharing behavior. We develop six hypotheses that unfold these ideas and test them on the basis of individual-level data collected within a single firm. The hypotheses are tested in a LISREL model that confirms that job characteristics, such as autonomy, task identity, and feedback, determine different motivations to share knowledge, which in turn predict employees' knowledge sharing behaviors. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.