Knowledge Sharing as Social Exchange: Evidence from a Meta-Analysis

Chih-Chung Liu, Ting-Peng Liang, Balaji Rajagopalan, Vallabh. Sambamurthy, Jason Chia-Hsien Wu


Motivating people to contribute knowledge has become an important research topic and a major challenge for organizations. In order to promote knowledge sharing, managers need to under-stand the mechanism that drives individuals to contribute their valuable knowledge. Several theories have been applied to study knowledge-sharing behavior. However, the research set-tings and findings are often inconsistent. In this study, we use the social exchange theory as the basis to develop an extended model to explain knowledge-sharing behavior and include IT con-text as a moderator. A meta-analysis on 52 reported studies was conducted to examine how different factors in the social exchange theory affect knowledge-sharing behavior. The findings indicate that the social exchange theory plays an important role underlying individuals' knowledge-sharing behavior. The results also demonstrate that social interaction and trust can enhance individual's knowledge-sharing behavior. Furthermore, IT facilitation can moderate the effect of social interaction.


Knowledge Sharing; Social Exchange Theory; Meta-Research; Knowledge Management

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Liu, C. C., Liang, T. P., Rajagopalan, B., Sambamurthy, V., Wu, J. C. H. (2011). " Knowledge Sharing as Social Exchange: Evidence from a Meta-Analysis "Pacific Asia Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 3(4), pp.21-47.