Exploring different cultural configurations: how do they affect subsidiaries’ knowledge sharing behaviors?
April 23, 2015 Editor 0
Journal of Knowledge Management, Volume 19, Issue 2, Page 141-163, April 2015.
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of different cultural typologies (i.e. innovative, competitive, bureaucratic and community) on employees’ knowledge-sharing processes within multinational corporations (MNCs) by taking a subsidiary perspective. It particularly applies the competing values framework to the study of individuals’ orientations toward sharing knowledge with others while also investigating the influence of top management support on such orientations. Design/methodology/approach – To test the proposed hypotheses, in this paper, survey data of 389 employees from six Italian subsidiaries are empirically analyzed by running hierarchical regressions on the two dimensions of knowledge-sharing processes, i.e. knowledge donating and knowledge collecting. Findings – The results show that the four types of organizational culture differently affect the knowledge-sharing sub-processes and confirm the importance of a strong top management support to facilitate interpersonal relationships. Research limitations/implications – Despite the cross-sectional nature of the data and the limitations arising from the subsidiaries’ position in the country, the findings suggest managers to pay great attention to the positive side of bureaucracy by emphasizing the need for order and efficiency while, at the same time, providing employees with a constant and encouraging support toward knowledge-sharing activities. Originality/value – The paper adds empirical evidence to the limited existing research on knowledge-sharing sub-processes of knowledge donating and collecting, extends the understanding of how different organizational cultures affect such processes, and contributes to the literature on MNCs’ knowledge-based activities by adopting a subsidiary perspective.
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