Do extrinsic motivation and organisational culture additively strengthen intrinsic motivation in online knowledge sharing?. An empirical study

Publication Date18 November 2019
AuthorTuyet-Mai Nguyen
SubjectInformation & knowledge management,Knowledge management,Knowledge management systems
Do extrinsic motivation and
organisational culture additively
strengthen intrinsic motivation in
online knowledge sharing?
An empirical study
Tuyet-Mai Nguyen
Department of Marketing, Grifth University, Brisbane, Australia and
Department of Economic Information System and E-commerce,
Thuongmai University, Hanoi, Vietnam
Purpose This study aims to examinethe relationship between intrinsic motivationand online knowledge
sharing intentions (KSIs)and the moderating effect of extrinsic motivation and organisational culture on this
relationship. The inuence of online KSI on two dimensions of online knowledge sharing behaviour,
knowledgedonating and knowledge collecting, was also investigated.
Design/methodology/approach Based on the extensive literature review, a questionnaire was
designed. In total,290 questionnaires from employees in Vietnamesecompanies in the banking and insurance
industry were collected and tested using structural equation modelling. Statistical analysis was conducted
using SPSS and PLS 3 softwareto examine the research hypotheses.
Findings This study found that rewards and reciprocity underminedthe inuence of self-enjoyment on
online KSI, while top management support and social interaction ties undermined the relationshipbetween
self-efcacy and online KSI. Topmanagement support positively moderated the effect of self-enjoyment on
online KSI.The results also suggested that online KSIwas a good predictor of online knowledgedonating and
Originality/value Little is empirically known aboutthe moderating effect of extrinsic motivation and
organizational culture on intrinsic motivation. The study brings new insights to further understand about
online knowledgesharing in an organisation.
Keywords Online knowledge sharing, Intrinsic motivation, Extrinsic motivation,
Organisational culture
Paper type Research paper
In todays knowledge-intensive economy, knowledge is often perceived as power and a
precious intangible asset in an organisation (Grant, 1996;Davenport and Prusak, 1998).
Effective knowledge management is becoming one of the most important tasks in an
organisation. Knowledge can be effectively managed only when individual knowledge is
translated to organisational knowledge through the knowledge sharing process (van den
Hooff and de Ridder, 2004). Therefore, organisations tend to invest in knowledge
management systems and information technology to facilitate knowledge sharing,
especially online knowledge sharing. A number of studies have demonstrated that online
knowledge sharing in organisations plays an essential role in enhancing innovation
performance and reducing redundant learning efforts (Calantone et al.,2002;Scarbrough,
motivation in
online knowledge
Received8 February 2019
Revised11 July 2019
Accepted15 August 2019
VINEJournal of Information and
KnowledgeManagement Systems
Vol.50 No. 1, 2020
pp. 75-93
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/VJIKMS-02-2019-0019
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
2003). However, employees are likely to keep valuable knowledge to themselves (Akhavan
et al., 2005) and share more often information that is generally known (Stasser and
Titus, 1985;B
au and Utz, 2017). Thus, it is essential for organisations to motivate
employees to participatein the online knowledge sharing process.
Online knowledge sharing is a strategic behaviour inuenced by motivation (B
au and
Utz, 2017). Motivation is regarded as a key determinant of general behaviour (Deci and
Ryan, 1987) and the primary trigger foronline knowledge sharing (Osterloh and Frey, 2000).
Without motivation, it is hard to expect online knowledge sharing behaviour to be
performed. Previous studies (Cho et al., 2015;Shao et al., 2017) have shown that intrinsic
motivation has a signicant impact on online knowledge sharing intention (KSI). When
online knowledge sharing systems were rst created in an organisation, they were mainly
sustained by employeesintrinsicmotivation such as self-efcacy and self-enjoyment (Zhao
et al., 2016). Furthermore, our literature review revealed a high level of variation of the
impact of intrinsic motivation on knowledge sharing. For example, Zhao et al. (2016)
reported a small correlation (r= 0.10) between self-enjoyment as intrinsic motivation and
knowledge sharing, whereas Chung et al. (2016) found a strong association (r= 0.66).
However, Wasko and Faraj (2005) foundthat self-efcacy did not affect knowledge sharing,
and Yang and Lai (2010) found a negative impact in this association. Thus, this leads to a
need to investigatemoderators in the relationship between intrinsic motivationand KSI.
Recently, owing to the importance of online knowledgesharing, organisations have tried
to extrinsically motivateemployees to share knowledge such as using rewards and creating
a favourable organisational cultureto facilitate online knowledge sharing (Hung et al.,2011;
Cho et al., 2015). However, organisations need to consider whether extrinsic motivation or
organisational culture have hidden costs or unintended consequences for intrinsic
motivation (Zhao et al., 2016). Because intrinsic and extrinsic motivations often coexist,
previous researchers have tended to examinehow the two types of motivation affect KSI or
to investigate how extrinsic motivation directly affects intrinsic motivation. However, the
moderating role of extrinsic motivations, such as rewards or reciprocity, on the association
between intrinsic motivation and KSI has not received much attention (Zhao et al., 2016).
Moreover, organisational culture factors such as social interaction ties or top management
support may also inuence the relationshipof intrinsic motivation on KSI (Hung et al., 2011;
Cho et al., 2015). Yet, our literature review reveals that there have not been any studies
examining the moderateeffect of organisational culture on the relationship betweenintrinsic
motivation and KSI. Therefore, this leads to a need to examine the moderating role of
Online knowledge sharing behaviour involves two dimensions the donation and the
collection of knowledge (Ardichviliet al., 2003). Although these two dimensions can both be
distinguished as active processes, they should be considered separately and independently
because they have their own dynamics.However, in the literature, few studies explore these
two dimensions of online knowledgesharing behaviour in organisations.
To address the gaps identied in the literature, the aim of this paper is to answer the
following questions:
Q1. How the impact of intrinsic motivation on KSI shifts under the moderating role of
extrinsic motivationand organisational culture.
Q2. How KSI inuences knowledgedonating and knowledge collecting.
In so doing, the contribution of thisstudy is threefold. First, it extends the existing literature
on online knowledge sharing in organisations.Second, it attempts to explain the variation in

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