Academic journal article African Journal of Library, Archives and Information Science

Modelling the Relationships between Knowledge Sharing, Organisational Citizenship, Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment among School Teachers in Botswana

Academic journal article African Journal of Library, Archives and Information Science

Modelling the Relationships between Knowledge Sharing, Organisational Citizenship, Job Satisfaction and Organisational Commitment among School Teachers in Botswana

Article excerpt

Introduction

The fundamental question in the field of strategic management is how organisations achieve and sustain competitive advantage (Teece, Pisano and Shuen, 1997). Over the years, strategy researchers have developed a number of frameworks intended to help organisations achieve competitive advantage. In the 1980s, the dominant approach was due to Michael Porter (Porter 1979, 1980). Seminal though it was, Porter's industry analytic approach, particularly as exemplified by his Five Forces model, was later criticised (e.g. Zack, 1999) for ignoring the role of individual firm characteristics in achieving competitiveness. Consequently, from the mid 1980s onwards, researchers (Barney, 1991; Wernerfelt, 1984) began to look within the organisation for sources of competitive advantage, in the process developing what has come to be known as the 'resource-based view'.

The resource-based view perceives the organisation as a bundle of resources and capabilities that may potentially lead to competitive advantage. In this context, resource refers to 'anything that could be thought of as a strength or weakness of a given firm', or, more formally, 'those (tangible and intangible) assets which are semi-permanently tied to the firm' (Wernerfelt, 1984:172), such as machinery, skilled personnel and efficient procedures. However, resources on their own are not productive; the organisation needs to have the capacity (i.e. knowledge) to mobilise resources and put them to productive use (Grant, 2005).

Isolating knowledge as the key source of sustainable competitive advantage. Researchers (Grant, 1996; Nonaka, Toyama and Nagata, 2000; Prahalad and Hamel, 1990; Spender, 1996) have further refined the resource-based view to form the knowledge-based view. To be sure, in arguing that resources and capabilities determine an organisation's strategy and performance, the resource-based view does acknowledge the role of knowledge--embedded in routines and capabilities--in organisational success. However, the knowledge-based view goes further and argues that organisations exist to integrate knowledge, i.e. 'organisations are social communities in which individual and social expertise is transformed into economically useful products and services by the application of a set of higher-order organizing principles' (Kogut and Zander, 1992:383). This interest in knowledge as a factor of production has in turn given rise to the discipline of knowledge management, which as Botha and Fouche (2002:282) noted, is concerned not with how to manage knowledge (knowledge per se cannot be managed!), but with managing "the organisational environment in which knowledge resources are levered to become a critical production factor".

An important area of research activity within knowledge management field is knowledge sharing which is concerned with transferring expertise from one individual to another within--or even across organisations (Wang, 2005). Empirically, knowledge sharing has been shown to be positively related to a number of desirable organisational variables, including organisational performance (Du, Ai and Ren, 2007; Jacobs and Roodt, 2007; Lin, 2007; Pai, 2006; Yang, 2007). However, although knowledge sharing in the workplace is in fact organisational behaviour (i.e. behaviour that people engage in within the context of organisations), knowledge sharing researchers have generally not directly and explicitly drawn from the discipline of Organisational Behaviour. In an attempt to address this anomaly, the current study draws from Organisational Behaviour to explore the antecedents of organisational knowledge sharing behaviour. Specifically, the study perceives knowledge sharing behaviour as a type of organisational citizenship behaviour, and as such argues that: (i) the two variables should be strongly positively correlated, and that (ii) predictors of organisational citizenship behaviour should also be predictors of knowledge sharing behaviour. …

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