Why and when others reciprocate my knowledge sharing in work teams: Attribution of intention and social values

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Hyunjee Hannah Kim
Jin Nam Choi
Cite this article:  Kim, H., & Choi, J. (2022). Why and when others reciprocate my knowledge sharing in work teams: Attribution of intention and social values. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 50(1), e10693.


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Knowledge sharing is a fundamental method for transferring expertise among individuals and capitalizing on knowledge resources. In this study we used attribution theory to explore why and when people reciprocate in text context of knowledge sharing. We conducted a field survey of 94 leaders and 334 members of their teams and demonstrated that team members reciprocated knowledge sharing because they attributed the knowledge sharers’ intentions to internal reasons. Moreover, this tendency was strengthened when knowledge sharers held prosocial, collectivistic values compared to when they hold proself, individualistic values. We have contributed to the knowledge and organizational literature by examining the two-way knowledge exchange process and establishing attribution theory as a core underlying mechanism in the process.

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