Effects of workplace spirituality and trust mediated by perceived risk towards knowledge sharing behaviour

DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/VJIKMS-06-2015-0033
Pages450-468
Publication Date14 November 2016
AuthorMuhammad Sabbir Rahman,Nuraihan Mat Daud,Hasliza Hassan,Aahad M. Osmangani
SubjectInformation & knowledge management,Knowledge management,Knowledge management systems
Effects of workplace spirituality
and trust mediated by perceived
risk towards knowledge
sharing behaviour
Muhammad Sabbir Rahman
Department of Marketing and International Business,
North South University, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Nuraihan Mat Daud
Faculty of Languages and Management,
International Islamic University Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Hasliza Hassan
Faculty of Management, Multimedia University, Cyberjaya, Malaysia, and
Aahad M. Osmangani
Faculty of Economics and Management Science,
International Islamic University Malaysia, Gombak, Malaysia
Abstract
Purpose – This research paper aims to provide an empirical examination to explain the relationship
between trust, workplace spirituality, perceived risk and knowledge sharing behaviour among the
non-academic staff of private higher learning institutions.
Design/methodology/approach A quantitative methodology was adopted to examine the
proposed relationship between trust, workplace spirituality, perceived risk and knowledge sharing
behaviour. The study used survey data from 240 non-academic staff of private higher learning
institutions in Malaysia. This research applied conrmatory factor analysis and structural equation
modelling to test the stated hypotheses of the proposed conceptual framework.
Findings – The empirical ndings indicate that workplace spirituality has a signicant positive inuence
on knowledge sharing behaviour, whereas trust is found to have a positive effect, mediated by perceived risk,
on the knowledge sharing behaviour among the non-academic staff of private higher learning institutions.
Research limitations/implications – The study was limited to private higher learning institutions
in Malaysia, and used a cross-sectional research design. Further investigations into the moderating
effect of socio-demographic variables are necessary.
Practical implications The results of this survey provide constructive information towards
understanding the extent of knowledge sharing predictors at the individual and non-academic staff
levels in the context of private higher learning institutions in Malaysia. Thus, this empirical study
serves as a baseline research for this unexplored scope as it provides new information in this eld.
Originality/value – Previous studies have not tested the function of trust and workplace spirituality
from the perspective of non-academic staff employed in private higher learning institutions.
Keywords Workplace spirituality, Trust, Knowledge sharing behaviour,
Non-academic administrative staff, Private higher learning institutions
Paper type Research paper
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
www.emeraldinsight.com/2059-5891.htm
VJIKMS
46,4
450
Received 5 June 2015
Revised 9 February 2016
10 August 2016
29 August 2016
7 September 2016
Accepted 10 September 2016
VINEJournal of Information and
KnowledgeManagement Systems
Vol.46 No. 4, 2016
pp.450-468
©Emerald Group Publishing Limited
2059-5891
DOI 10.1108/VJIKMS-06-2015-0033
Introduction
The quality of knowledge sharing behaviour among the organisation members is highly
inuenced by their human resource capacity and willingness to share information with
their colleagues (Ipe, 2003;Lin, 2006,2008). Bartol and Srivastava (2002, p. 65) dened
knowledge sharing as “Individuals sharing organisationally relevant information, hints
and expertise with one another”. Previous researchers have also revealed that the
readiness of the staff to share knowledge might depend on the degree of trusted
activities among themselves (Wickramasinghe and Widyaratne, 2012;Casimir et al.,
2012;Uchenna et al., 2013;Peter and Alvin, 2013;Adler, 2001;Lucas, 2005;Scott, 2000).
Therefore, trust is a psychological condition that another party is expected to
perform a particular action (Rousseau et al., 1998;Mayer et al., 1995). As Lucas (2005)
established, interpersonal trust among colleagues signicantly affect their experiences
in transferring knowledge to one another. Thus far, previous research has accepted that
an individual decision relating to trust depends on the degree of perceived risk (Sitkin
and Weingart, 1995;Sitkin and Pablo, 1992).
In addition, workplace spirituality in an organisational environment may inuence
the practices of the staff on intellectual knowledge, as well as the capacity to create a
knowledge sharing culture, the understanding of knowledge value, the ability for
greater thinking and the possession of a rened mind unconcerned with material things
(Shaw and Thomson, 2013;Heaton et al., 2004;Shankar Pawar, 2009;Satinder and Joan,
2011). Bennet and Bennet (2007) dene spirituality as the rise of the mind in relation to
intellectual matters of the individual’s soul which reects on his/her thought and action.
With regard to this, knowledge sharing cannot work without ensuring a favourable
situation for the spiritual practices of the staff in their respective organisation (Rupali
et al., 2014;Bennet and Bennet, 2006). Thus, an organisation must incorporate the
employees’ spiritual life in the workplace to create a knowledge sharing culture among
the staff (Rego et al., 2008;Capra et al., 2007).
Based on the above discussion, the present research assumes that trust, perceived risk and
workplace spirituality may have a signicant relationship with the knowledge sharing
behaviour among the non-academic staff of higher learning institutions. The scope of this
research includes the non-academic employees of private higher learning institutions in Malaysia.
Knowledge sharing culture is one of the most valuable resources in Malaysia,
especially as the ministry of Malaysian higher education institution expanded their
activities in numerous sectors. For instance, the Ministry of Higher Education report
revealed that more than 900,000 students are pursuing higher education in 20 public
universities, 33 private universities and university colleges, 4 foreign university branch
campuses, 22 engineering schools, 37 community colleges and nearly 500 private
colleges. The government wants to turn Malaysia into a knowledge sharing hub for
academic and institutional excellence in higher education both locally and globally.
This research is necessary because the non-academic staff of higher learning
institutions need to share knowledge among themselves to solve work-related problems
and to realise departmental and institutional objectives. Thus, this research aims to
examine the relationship of trust, perceived risk and workplace spirituality with the
knowledge sharing behaviour among the non-academic staff of private higher learning
institutions. The unit of analysis of this research is non-academic staff from different
private higher learning institutions in Malaysia.
451
Knowledge
sharing
behaviour

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