Factors Affecting High School Teachers' Knowledge-Sharing Behaviors

Article excerpt

In this research the knowledge-sharing behaviors of high school teachers were explored. Using planned behavior theory based on a scientific literature review, several exogenous variables were identified, such as organizational climate and resource fit. Regression analysis was used to examine the hypotheses; all hypotheses were supported. Based on the results, all added exogenous variables have an identical effect on teachers' knowledge-sharing behaviors.

Keywords: knowledge sharing, theory of planned behavior, high school teachers.

The era of global competition trends and knowledge economy has led to both local and international enterprises beginning to establish knowledge management in light of significant industrial competition. These enterprises have also aggressively explored ways in which to enhance knowledge management to create competitive advantages for their companies. In a knowledge economic society, knowledge management should first emphasize knowledge sharing as it is the core (Hendriks, 1999) and basis (Liao, Chang, Cheng, & Kuo, 2004; Liebowitz, 2001) of knowledge management. Knowledge sharing is also the toughest task for knowledge management (Ruggles, 1998). Commonly existing issues internal to enterprises result in obstacles to knowledge sharing among peers. Most knowledge owners are unwilling to share their most important knowledge assets with others (Senge, 1997). Such a situation makes personal knowledge unavailable for transmission, making it further unavailable for achieving optimal usage and allocation. The importance of knowledge sharing indicates that knowledge is quite different from ordinary assets as knowledge shows no phenomenon of effectiveness in decreasing returns, which is the case with ordinary products. If employees internal to organizations act more aggressively in knowledge sharing, it is easier to exert the value of knowledge. On the other hand, current globalization and internalization trends highlight the necessity of both communication and knowledge sharing. Regardless of the view of the dimensions of individuals or organizations, both are required to promote quick learning (Eriksson & Dickson, 2000).

In addition, researchers examining knowledge-sharing activities have focused primarily on enterprises. Few have focused on school teachers as experimental subjects. If teachers can integrate what they have learned about relevant education theories and personal experience (including professional and nonprofessional experience) into personal knowledge management promoting the integration and exchange of both tacit and explicit personal knowledge, it would certainly facilitate the effectiveness of professional learning and development (Handal & Lauvas, 1987). As scholars have revealed, knowledge management can enable people to work more wisely and effectively (Petrides & Nodine, 2003). As such, understanding the behaviors of personal knowledge sharing is important for promoting knowledge management.

Finally, the theories most commonly used to explore knowledge-sharing behaviors are the theory of reasoned action (TRA; Bock & Kirn, 2002a; Kolekofski & Heminger, 2003) and the theory of planned behavior (TPB; Ryu, Ho, & Han, 2003; So & Bolloju, 2005). TRA is primarily used to locate leading factors whereas TPB is mainly used for the application of primitive theory modes. However, numerous researchers have revealed that TRA cannot completely explain certain behaviors (Randall & Gibson, 1990). Furthermore, both the explanatory power and predicting capacity of TPB are superior to TRA (Ryu et al., 2003). Therefore, in this study TPB was used as the theoretical basis for exploring other factors affecting knowledge-sharing behaviors.

LITERATURE REVIEW

KNOWLEDGE SHARING

Knowledge sharing has long been viewed as one of the most important components of knowledge management (Lee & Ann, 2007). It can also be used to measure the performance of knowledge management and organizational learning (Bock, Zmud, Kirn, & Lee, 2005; Quinn, Anderson, & Finkelstein, 1996) because it is only meaningful after knowledge sharing has been implemented (Sydanmaanlakka, 2002). …