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Keywords:

  • HRM;
  • knowledge exchange;
  • organizational commitment;
  • motivation;
  • interaction

Abstract

In response to recent calls for more research on micro-foundations, we seek to link human resource management (HRM) and knowledge transfer through individual-level mechanisms, arguing that individual-level conditions of action influence the extent to which employees engage in knowledge exchange. We examine four such conditions empirically using data from 811 employees in three Danish multinational corporations (MNCs). Our findings suggest that individual-level perceptions of organizational commitment to knowledge sharing, and extrinsic motivation, directly influence the extent to which employees engage in firm-internal knowledge exchange. We also find that intrinsic motivation and engagement in social interaction significantly mediate the relationship between perceived organizational commitment and knowledge exchange. Given that HRM can influence such conditions through an overall signaling effect and various practices, an understanding of these micro-foundations will shed light on how organizations can effectively enhance knowledge transfer through HRM. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.