Group organizational citizenship behavior and knowledge sharing. The moderating role of workgroup emotional climate

Publication Date01 November 2019
Date01 November 2019
AuthorYasha Afshar Jalili,Farideh Salemipour
SubjectInformation & knowledge management
Group organizational citizenship
behavior and knowledge sharing
The moderating role of workgroup
emotional climate
Yasha Afshar Jalili
Department of Psychology, Islamic Azad University Science and Research Branch,
Tehran, Iran, and
Farideh Salemipour
Department of Knowledge Management, KZREC, Ahvaz, Iran
Purpose This study aimsto examine the inuence of organizational citizenshipbehaviors sub-constructs
including altruism, civic virtue, sportsmanship, conscientiousness and courtesy on knowledge sharing
behavior (KSB). It also pays attentionto the effects of group emotional climate on the relationship between
organizationalcitizenship behavior and knowledge sharing.
Design/methodology/approach This research was conducted based on the quantitative research
strategy by applyingstructural equation modeling. Using a random sampling method,this research surveyed
116 participantsand analyzed the data via partialleast equation modeling.
Findings The results claim that altruism,conscientiousness and civic virtue have a signicant effect on
KSB, while the relationship between courtesy and sportsmanship with KSB were not signicant.
Furthermore, the ndings depict thatpositive and negative workgroup emotional climate would impede or
enhanceKSB among people with a high level of altruism, conscientiousnessand civic virtue.
Practical implications Given the importance of knowledgesharing in the today knowledge economy,
by comprehending the inuenceof group organizational citizenship behaviors sub-constructson knowledge
sharing, managers would improve organizational knowledge sharing by developing a culture encouraging
altruism, conscientiousness and civic virtue as a substitute for incentive pay. Moreover, promoting an
emotionallysupportive climate fosters knowledgesharing within people.
Originality/value This study makes three distinctadditions to the knowledge sharing literature. First,
although there are littlestudies that investigate the relationship between organizationalcitizenship behaviors
(OCB) and KS, a few of them examinethe effects of OCBs sub-constructs on KS behavior. Second,this is one
of the rst studies that examined the moderatingrole of workgroup emotional climate regarding knowledge
sharing. Finally, examining the effect of OCBs sub-constructs on KS in an Iranian public sector would
contributeto the literature by broadening the examination of the constructs in a differentcontext.
Keywords Knowledge management, Knowledge sharing behaviour,
Organizational citizenship behaviour, Workgroup emotional climate
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
Undoubtedly knowledge is one of the most signicant organizational resources that would
create a sustainable competitive advantage in the knowledge economy (Gelard et al., 2014;
Philsoophian et al.,2016). It is accounted as a valuable asset that should be managed by
knowledge processes- such as acquiring, developing, storing, sharing and re-using-
systematically to improve organizational performance. One of the crucial and most
Received3 December 2018
Revised22 April 2019
17July 2019
7September 2019
Accepted26 September 2019
VINEJournal of Information and
KnowledgeManagement Systems
Vol.50 No. 1, 2020
pp. 117-135
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/VJIKMS-12-2018-0117
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
challenging processes of knowledge management is knowledge sharing (Dehghani et al.,
2015). The main reason is that knowledge sharing is a multifaceted construct that lots of
factors inuence its occurrence, such as the nature of shared knowledge (Arpaci and Balo,
2016), people motivation to share their knowledge (Suder et al., 2017), attitudes and
intentions (Dehghaniet al.,2015), opportunities to share (Ipe, 2003), culture (Foss et al.,2010),
psychological aspects (Teh and Yong, 2011;Afshar-Jalili and Ghaleh, 2018), behavioral
aspects (Hsien et al., 2014),and etc.
Organizations can derive several benets from a well-established knowledge sharing,
such as human resource improvement, market development and penetration, improving
management-employee relations, individual, workgroup and organizational performance
and productivity improvement,enhancing organizational learning and innovation (Connelly
and Kelloway, 2003;Tohidiniaand Mosakhani, 2010).
While knowledge sharing can result in many organizational improvements, lack of
knowledge sharing can make severe issues for organizations (Lin, 2008). Therefore,
predicting employeespropensity to share their knowledge is recognizedas a high priority of
organizationalobsession in the knowledge economy.
Although the importance of knowledge and knowledge sharing is perceived in most
organizations, managers still have difculties to enforce people sharing their knowledge
(Chow and Chan, 2008). Indeed, knowledge sharing will not happen if people do not tend to
share their knowledge with their colleagues or other workgroup members. Knowledge
sharing matters are correspondinglycommon in most organizations (Siemsen et al.,2008;Ho
et al., 2009). Moreover, individuals often perceive their knowledge as the most important
reason that their organizations need them, and thus, prefer to hoard it rather than share it.
Keeping knowledge for themselves is a natural tendency (Davenport and Prusak, 1998). To
address this problem, rather than focusing on formal reward systems, which is extrinsic
incentives, other behaviors, such as organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB) that may
support individual knowledge sharing in the organizational context, can be taken into
account. Because these behaviors can play a role in encouraging people to share their
knowledge as intrinsic motivation.OCB is recognized as discretionary work behaviors that
are not linked directly to organizational formal reward system (Organ, 1988), but improves
organizational performance. This research tends to pay particular attention to group OCB
and its sub-constructs to examine the extent they can predict knowledge sharing behaviors
(KSBs). Because, OCBs may substitute for incentive pay for enhancing knowledge sharing
(Wasko and Teigland, 2004). Although the aggregation of varied and rich research on
knowledge sharing has provided useful insights, there have been a few attempts to deeply
investigate its relationshipwith group OCB (Pei-Lee and Hongyi, 2012).
On the other hand, empirical experiences reveal that emotions can inuence directly on
people behaviors. OCBs as discretionary work behaviors are not exceptional. Despite the
importance of emotions in determining employees organizational behaviors (Härtel et al.,
2008), little theory or research is available, which investigates the inuence of workgroup
emotional climate (WEC) on OCB and KSB deeply. This researchinvestigates the impact of
workgroup emotional climate on the relationship between OCBs sub-constructs and KSB,
which would be one of the rst attempts in this context. This study revealedthe reason that
people with high OCBslevel may still prefer not to share their knowledge.
Investigating WEC as a moderatorof the relationship between group OCB and KS for the
rst time, this paper has three other aspects that make it distinctive from other studies
conducted in this area. First, although some studies investigate the relationship between
group OCB and KS, few of them examine separately the effects of OCBs sub-constructs in
predicting KS behavior. Moreover,it is one of the rst studies examining the effect of OCBs

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