Interactional justice and willingness to share tacit knowledge: perceived cost as a mediator, and respectful engagement as moderator

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Personnel Review, 2021, 50, (2), pp. 478-497
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Purpose: Managing tacit knowledge effectively and efficiently is a huge challenge for organizations. Based on the social exchange and self-determination theories, this study aims to explore the role of social interactions in motivating employees' willingness to share tacit knowledge (WSTK). Design/methodology/approach: The study used a survey approach and collected data from 228 employees in service and manufacturing organizations. Findings: Interactional justice and respectful engagement are positively related to WSTK. The perceived cost of tacit knowledge sharing (CostTKS) partially mediates the relationship between interactional justice and WSTK. Respectful engagement moderates the negative relationship between interactional justice and the perceived CostTKS. Research limitations/implications: The study advances the understanding of the role of social interaction in facilitating employee WSTK by integrating the direct and intermediate relationships involving the effect of supervisor's interactional justice and peers' respectful engagement and employee perceived CostTKS on WSTK. Practical implications: The findings have important practical implications for organizations as these suggest how organizations can help tacit knowledge holders experience less negative and more supportive behaviors when they engage in voluntary TKS. Originality/value: This study examines the effect of both vertical and horizontal work-related interactions on perceived CostTKS and sequentially on WSTK, thereby extending existing literature.
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