Using IT To Share Knowledge And The TRA

by Gian Casimir, Yong Ngee Keith Ng, Prof. Dr. Chai Liou Paul Cheng

Journal of Knowledge Management , (2012), Vol.16, Issue 3


The major objective of this paper is to examine whether or not information technology (IT) usage to share knowledge is a mediator or moderator of the intention behaviour relationship proposed in the theory of reasoned action (TRA). Design/methodology/approach – A letter of invitation to participate in the study was sent to all of the public-listed companies in Malaysia. A total of 483 full-time employees from 23 organizations completed an anonymous, self-administered survey in a cross-sectional design. Partial least squares analysis was used to test the conceptual model.

Findings – The major finding is that the relationship between the intention to share knowledge and knowledge sharing is partly mediated and not moderated by IT usage to share knowledge. Research limitations/implications – Knowledge sharing was considered only at the individual level. The data are self-reported, cross-sectional, from a single source and a single method. The relational and capability-membership perspective leads to a positive attitude towards knowledge sharing whereas the instrumental perspective leads to a negative attitude. The findings augment the TRA by showing there is a mediator of the intention-behaviour relationship in the context of knowledge sharing.

Practical implications – The findings indicate that organizations need to ascertain employees’ preferred methods for sharing knowledge, provide appropriate IT for knowledge sharing, establish online communities for knowledge sharing, publicly acknowledge members for sharing knowledge, and avoid relying on extrinsic tangible rewards to foster knowledge sharing.

Previous research has shown that using IT to share knowledge does not moderate the intention-behaviour relationship in the TRA. An alternative conceptualisation of the role of using IT to share knowledge in the intention-behaviour relationship is provided.

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