11 (1) 2021

Social capital and knowledge sharing in the public sector

Author - Affiliation:
Ha Minh Tri - International University, Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Doan Bao Son - Faculty of Aeronautical Electrics and Telecommunication, Vietnam Aviation Academy, Vietnam
Corresponding author: hmtri@hcmiu.edu.vn

This research proposes and validates a model hypothesizing the relationships between social capital and knowledge sharing in the public sector. We employed a survey design using a questionnaire to collect data utilizing a convenient sampling method. The study gathered 389 questionnaires from civil servants and officials working in departments and agencies in the public sector in Tien Giang province. The research hypotheses were developed and validated using the structural model modeling (SEM) approach. The research results show that all hypothesized relationships were confirmed except the link between structural social capital and tacit knowledge sharing. Our study can be considered a pioneering study to investigate the influence of social capital on both tacit knowledge sharing and explicit knowledge sharing in the public sector. This work also enriches the growing body of knowledge regarding social capital and knowledge sharing in the public sector. Our research also offers suggestions to leaders in the public sector concerning relevant measures and policies that enable employees to share knowledge by promoting social capital.

explicit knowledge sharing; public sector; social capital; tacit knowledge sharing

Full Text:


Adler, P. S., & Kwon, S. W. (2002). Social capital: Prospects for a new concept. Academy of Management Review, 27(1), 17-40.

Alavi, M., & Leidner, D. E. (2001). Knowledge management and knowledge management systems: Conceptual foundations and research issues. MIS Quarterly, 25(1), 107-136.

Amayah, A. (2013). Determinants of knowledge sharing in a public sector organization. Journal of Knowledge Management, 17(3), 454-471.

Anderson, J. C., & Gerbing, D. W. (1988). Structural equation modeling in practice: A review and recommended two-step approach. Psychological Bulletin, 103(3), 411-423.

Arbuckle, J. L. (2016). IBM SPSS AMOS 24 User’s guide. New York, NY: IBM Corp.

Barher, B. (1983). The logic and limits of trust. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Borgatti, S. P., & Cross, R. (2003). A relational view of information seeking and learning in social networks. Management Science, 49(4), 432-445.

Byrne, B. M. (2016). Structural equation modeling with Amos: Basic concepts, applications, and programming (3rd ed.). NewYork, NY: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.

Chow, W. S., & Chan, L. S. (2008). Social network, social trust and shared goals in organizational knowledge sharing. Information & Management, 45(7), 458-465.

Chumg, H. F., Cooke, L., Fry, J., & Hung, I. H. (2015). Factors affecting knowledge sharing in the virtual organisation: Employees’ sense of well-being as a mediating effect. Computers in Human Behavior, 44(C), 70-80.

Cohen, W. M., & Levinthal, D. A. (1990). Absorptive capacity: A new perspective on learning and innovation. Administrative Science Quarterly, 35(1), 128-152.

Dhanaraj, C., Lyles, M. A., Steensma, H. K., & Tihanyi, L. (2004). Managing tacit and explicit knowledge transfer in IJVs: The role of relational embeddedness and the impact on performance. Journal of International Business Studies, 35(5), 428-442.

Dyer, J. H., & Nobeoka, K. (2000). Creating and managing a high‐performance knowledge‐sharing network: The Toyota case. Strategic Management Journal, 21(3), 345-367.

Foos, T., Schum, G., & Rothenberg, S. (2006). Tacit knowledge transfer and the knowledge disconnect. Journal of Knowledge Management, 10(1), 6-18.

Fornell, C., & Larcker, D. F. (1981). Evaluating structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error. Journal of Marketing Research, 18(1), 39-50.

Gabarro, J. J. (1978). The development of trust, influence, and expectations. In A. G. Athos & J. J. Gabarro (Eds.), Interpersonal behaviors: Communication and understanding in relationships (pp. 290-303). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Ganguly, A., Talukdar, A., & Chatterjee, D. (2019). Evaluating the role of social capital, tacit knowledge sharing, knowledge quality and reciprocity in determining innovation capability of an organization. Journal of Knowledge Management, 23(6), 1105-1135.

Granovetter, M. S. (1973). The strength of weak ties. American Journal of Sociology, 78(6), 1360-1380.

Granovetter, M. (1985). Economic action and social structure: The problem of embeddedness. American Journal of Sociology, 91(3), 481-510.

Gulati, R. (1995). Does familiarity breed trust? The implications of repeated ties for contractual choice in alliances. Academy of Management Journal, 38(1), 85-112.

Hair, J. F., Black, W. C., Babin, B. J., & Anderson, R. E. (2014). Multivariate data analysis. Edinburgh Gate, UK: Pearson New International Edition.

Hau, Y. S., Kim, B., Lee, H., & Kim, Y. G. (2013). The effects of individual motivations and social capital on employees’ tacit and explicit knowledge sharing intentions. International Journal of Information Management, 33(2), 356-366.

Hlupic, V., Pouloudi, A., & Rzevski, G. (2002). Towards an integrated approach to knowledge management: ‘Hard’, ‘soft’ and ‘abstract’ issues. Knowledge and Process Management, 9(2), 90-102.

Hu, L. T., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 6(1), 1-55.

Inkpen, A. C., & Tsang, E. W. (2005). Social capital, networks, and knowledge transfer. Academy of Management Review, 30(1), 146-165.

Kim, S., & Lee, H. (2005). Employee knowledge sharing capabilities in public & private organizations: Does organizational context matter? Proceedings of the 38th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 8, 249-258.

Kim, T., & Lee, G. (2010). Examining social capital and knowledge sharing as antecedents of service innovativeness and business performance in the hotel industry: An application of the Resource-Based View (RBV) theory. Journal of Tourism Sciences, 34(7), 13-36.

Kline, R. B. (2015). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

Kogut, B., & Zander, U. (1996). What firms do? Coordination, identity, and learning. Organization Science, 7(5), 502-518.

Krackhardt, D. (1990). Assessing the political landscape: Structure, cognition, and power in organizations. Administrative Science Quarterly, 35(2), 342-369.

Levin, D. Z., & Cross, R. (2004). The strength of weak ties you can trust: The mediating role of trust in effective knowledge transfer. Management Science, 50(11), 1477-1490.

Luen, T. W., & Al-Hawamdeh, S. (2001). Knowledge management in the public sector: Principles and practices in police work. Journal of Information Science, 27(5), 311-318.

Miller, N. J., Besser, T., & Malshe, A. (2007). Strategic networking among small businesses in small US communities. International Small Business Journal, 25(6), 631-665.

Nahapiet, J., & Ghoshal, S. (1998). Social capital, intellectual capital, and the organizational advantage. Academy of Management Review, 23(2), 242-266.

Nonaka, I. (1991). The knowledge creating company. Harvard Business Review, 69(6), 96-104.

Nonaka, I. (1994). A dynamic theory of organizational knowledge creation. Organization Science, 5(1), 14-37.

Nonaka, I., & Takeuchi, H. (1995). The knowledge-creating company. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Ouchi, W. G. (1980). Markets, bureaucracies, and clans. Administrative Science Quarterly, 25(1), 129-141.

Pentland, B. T. (1995). Grammatical models of organizational processes. Organization Science, 6(5), 541-556.

Reagans, R., & McEvily, B. (2003). Network structure and knowledge transfer: The effects of cohesion and range. Administrative Science Quarterly, 48(2), 240-267.

Reychav, I., & Weisberg, J. (2009). Bridging intention and behavior of knowledge sharing. Journal of Knowledge Management, 14(2), 285-300.

Sitkin, S. B., & Roth, N. L. (1993). Explaining the limited effectiveness of legalistic “remedies” for trust/distrust. Organization Science, 4(3), 367-392.

Tsai, W., & Ghoshal, S. (1998). Social capital and value creation: The role of intrafirm networks. Academy of Management Journal, 41(4), 464-476.

Van den Hooff, B., & Huysman, M. (2009). Managing knowledge sharing: Emergent and engineering approaches. Information &Management, 46(1), 1-8.

Van Maanen, J., & Schein, E. H. (1979). Toward a theory of organizational socialization. In B. M. Staw (Ed.), Research in organizational behavior (pp. 209-264). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.

Wang, Z., & Wang, N. (2012). Knowledge sharing, innovation and firm performance. Expert Systems with Applications, 39(10), 8899-8908.

Wang, S., Noe, R. A., & Wang, Z. M. (2011). Motivating knowledge sharing in knowledge management systems: A quasi-field experiment. Journal of Management, 40(4), 978-1009. doi:10.1177/0149206311412192

Wasko, M. M., & Faraj, S. (2005). Why should I share? Examining social capital and knowledge contribution in electronic networks of practice. MIS Quarterly, 29(1), 35-57.

Willem, A., & Buelens, M. (2007). Knowledge sharing in public sector organizations: The effect of organizational characteristics on interdepartmental knowledge sharing. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 17(4), 581-606.

Zaqout, F., & Abbas, M. (2012). Towards a model for understanding the influence of the factors that stimulate university students’ engagement and performance in knowledge sharing. Library Review, 61(5), 345-361.

View Counter: Abstract | 0 | times
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.