Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30836
The Impact of Motivation, Trust, and National Cultural Differences on Knowledge Sharing within the Context of Electronic Mail

Authors: Said Abdullah Al Saifi


The goal of this research is to examine the impact of trust, motivation, and national culture on knowledge sharing within the context of electronic mail. This study is quantitative and survey based. In order to conduct the research, 200 students from a leading university in New Zealand were chosen randomly to participate in a questionnaire survey. Motivation and trust were found to be significantly and positively related to knowledge sharing. The research findings illustrated that face saving, face gaining, and individualism positively moderates the relationship between motivation and knowledge sharing. In addition, collectivism culture negatively moderates the relationship between motivation and knowledge sharing. Moreover, the research findings reveal that face saving, individualism, and collectivism culture positively moderate the relationship between trust and knowledge sharing. In addition, face gaining culture negatively moderates the relationship between trust and knowledge sharing. This study sets out several implications for researchers and practitioners. The study produces an integrative model that shows how attributes of national culture impact knowledge sharing through the use of emails. A better understanding of the relationship between knowledge sharing and trust, motivation, and national culture differences will increase individuals’ ability to make wise choices when sharing knowledge with those from different cultures.

Keywords: Trust, Knowledge sharing, Motivation, national culture

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1193


[1] J. Hall, and J. Sapsed, Influences of knowledge sharing and hoarding in project based firms: Management of knowledge in project environments. Oxford: Elsevier, 2005.
[2] M-L. Hu, J-S. Horng, and Y-H. Sun, “Hospitality teams: Knowledge sharing and service innovation performance”, Tourism Management, Vol. 30 no. 1, 41-50, 2009.
[3] D. Liu, and C. Lai, “Mining group-based knowledge flows for sharing task knowledge”, Decision Support Systems, 50(2), 370-386, 2011.
[4] W. Miller, and L. Morris, Fourth generation R & D: Managing knowledge, technology, and innovation. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 1999.
[5] I. Nonaka, “A dynamic theory of organizational knowledge creation”, Organization Science, Vol. 5 no. 1, pp.14-37, 1994.
[6] I. Nonaka, and H. Takeuchi, The knowledge–creating company: How Japanese companies create the dynamics of innovation. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.
[7] P. Clarke, and M. Cooper, Knowledge management and collaboration, practical applications of knowledge management. The Third International Conference on Practical Aspects of Knowledge Management (pp.1-9). Basel, Switzerland, 2000.
[8] S. Sarin, and C. McDermott, “The effect of team leader characteristics on learning, knowledge application, and performance of cross-functional new product development teams”, Decision Sciences Vol. 34 no. 4, pp. 707-739, 2003.
[9] I. Virtanen, How tacit is tacit knowledge? Polanyi’s theory of knowledge and its application in the knowledge management theories (Unpublished dissertation). University of Tampere, Finland, 2014.
[10] P. Hildreth, and C. Kimble, “The duality of knowledge”, Information Research, Vol. 8 no. 1, Retrieved from, 2002.
[11] M. Alavi, and D. Leidner, “Review: Knowledge management and knowledge management systems: Conceptual foundations and research issues”, MIS Quarterly, Vol. 25 no. 1, 107-136, 2001.
[12] H, Yang, and C. Wu, “Knowledge sharing in an organization”, Technological Forecasting & Social Change, Vol. 75 no. 8, pp. 1128-1156, 2008.
[13] I. Nonaka, and N. Konno, “The concept of “Ba”. Building a foundation for knowledge creation”, California Management Review, Vol. 40 no. 3, pp. 40-54, 1998.
[14] I. Nonaka, G. von Krogh, and S. Voelpel,“Organisational knowledge creation theory: Evolutionary paths and future advances”, Organization Studies, Vol. 27 no. 8, pp. 1179-1208, 2006.
[15] I. Becerra-Fernandez, and R. Sabherwal, “Organizational knowledge management: A contingency perspective”, Journal of Management Information Systems, Vol. 18 no.1, pp. 23-55, 2001.
[16] J. Chen, P Y T. Sun, and R J. McQueen, “The impact of national cultures on structured knowledge transfer”, Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 14 no. 2, pp.228-242, 2010
[17] D. Ford, and Y. Chan, “Knowledge sharing in a multi-cultural setting: A case study”, Knowledge Management Research and Practice, Vol. 1 no.1, 11-27, 2003.
[18] M. Glisband, and N. Holden, “Contextual constraints in knowledge management theory: The cultural embeddedness of Nonaka’s knowledge–creating company”, Knowledge and Process Management, Vol. 10 no. 1, pp. 29-36, 2003.
[19] E. Siemsen E, A. Roth A, and S, Balasubramanian, “How motivation, opportunity, and ability drive knowledge sharing: The constraining–factor model”, Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 26 no. 3, pp. 426-445, 2008.
[20] G. Bock, R. Zmud, Y. Kim, and J. Lee, “Behavioral intention formation in knowledge sharing: Examining the roles of extrinsic motivators, social–psychological forces, and organizational climate”, MIS Quarterly, Vol. 29 no.1, pp. 87-111, 2005.
[21] M. Ipe, “Knowledge sharing in organizations: A conceptual framework”, Human Resource Development Review, Vol. 2 no. 4, pp. 337-359, 2003.
[22] R. Quigley, E. Tesluk, A. Locke, and M. Bartol, “A Multilevel investigation of the motivational mechanisms underlying knowledge sharing and performance”, Organization Science, Vol. 18 no. 1, pp.71-88, 2007.
[23] S. Cynthia, and P. Sage, “Knowledge management and knowledge sharing: A review”, Information Knowledge Systems Management, Vol. 53, pp. 153-169.
[24] M-C. Huang, Y-P. Chiu, and T-C. Lu, “Knowledge governance mechanisms and repatriate’s knowledge sharing: The mediating roles of motivation and opportunity”, Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 17 no. 5, pp. 677- 694, 2013.
[25] B. Kim, and I. Han, “The role of trust belief and its antecedents in a community driven knowledge environment”, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Vol. 60 no. 5, pp. 1012-1026, 2009.
[26] C. Vera–Mu˜noz, L. Ho, and W. Chow, “Enhancing knowledge sharing in public accounting firms”, Accounting Horizons, Vol. 20 no.2, pp. 133-155, 2006.
[27] A. Kankanhalli, B. Tan, and K. Wei, “Contributing knowledge to electronic knowledge repositories: An empirical investigation”, MIS Quarterly, Vol. 29 no.1, pp. 113-143, 2005.
[28] S. Kwok, and S. Gao, “Attitude toward knowledge sharing behavior”, Journal of Computer Information Systems, Vol. 46 no. 2, pp. 45-51, 2005.
[29] S. Hau, and G. Kim, “Why would online gamers share their innovation conducive knowledge in the online game user community? Integrating individual motivations and social capital perspectives”, Computers in Human Behavior, Vol. 27 no. 2, pp. 956-970, 2011.
[30] A. Gupta, and V. Govindarajan, “Knowledge flows within multinational corporations”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 21 no. 3, pp.473-496, 2000.
[31] M. Osterloh, and B. Frey, “Motivation, knowledge transfer, and organizational forms”, Organization Science, Vol. 11 no.5, pp. 538-550, 2000.
[32] B. Choi, and H. Lee, “An empirical investigation of KM styles and their effect on corporate performance”, Information & Management, Vol. 40 no. 5, pp. 403-417, 2003.
[33] L. Cummings, and P. Bromiley, The organizational trust inventory (OTI): Development and validation. In R. Kramer and T. Tyler (Eds.), Trust in organizations: Frontiers of theory and research. (pp. 302-320). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage publications, 1996.
[34] K. Dirks, and D. Ferrin, “The role of trust in organizational settings”, Organisation Science, Vol. 12 no. 4, 450-467, 2001.
[35] S. Jarvenpaa, and D. Leidner, “Communication and trust in global virtual teams”, Organization Science Vol. 10 no. 6, pp. 791-815, 1999.
[36] R. Moreland, and L. Myaskovsky, “Exploring the performance benefits of group training: Transactive memory or improved communication?”, Organization Behaviour and Human Decision Processes, Vol. 82 no. 1, pp.117-133, 2000.
[37] D. Rau, “The influence of relationship conflict and trust on the transactive memory: Performance relationships in top management teams”, Small Group Research, Vol. 36 No. 6, pp. 746-771, 2005.
[38] J. Abdul Hamid, “Knowledge strategies of school administrators and teachers”, International Journal of Education Management, Vol. 22 no. 3, pp. 259-268, 2008.
[39] C. Connelly, Predictors of knowledge sharing in organizations (Unpublished master’s thesis). Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, 2000.
[40] E. Katsamakas, “Knowledge processes and learning options in networks: Evidence from telecommunications”, Human Systems Management Vol. 26 no. 3, pp. 181-192, 2007.
[41] R. Sharkie, “Perceptions of trust as a determinant of the level of knowledge sharing”, International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Vol. 4, pp. 1795-1801, 2004.
[42] K, Andrews, and B. Delahaye, “Influences on knowledge process in organizational learning: The psychological filter”, Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 37 no. 6, pp. 2322–2380, 2000.
[43] D. Cohen, and L. Prusak, In good company: How social capital makes organizations work. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2001.
[44] W. Rutten, “The impact of (low) trust on knowledge sharing”, Journal of knowledge management, Vol. 20 no. 2, pp.199-214, 2016.
[45] A. Hwang, A. Francesco, and E. Kessler, “The relationship between individualism-collectivism, face, and feedback and learning processes in Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United States”, Journal of Cross–cultural Psychology, Vol. 34 no. 1, pp. 72-91, 2003.
[46] G. Hofstede, Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind. London: McGraw–Hill, 1991.
[47] G. Hofstede, Culture’s consequences: Comparing values, behaviours, institutions and organizations across nations (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2001.
[48] C. Chow, F. Deng, and J. Ho, “The openness of knowledge sharing within organizations: A comparative study of the United States and the People’s Republic of China”, Journal of Management Accounting Research, Vol. 12, pp. 65-95, 2000.
[49] A. Ardichvili, M. Maurer, W. Li, T. Wentling, and R. Stuedemann, “Cultural influences on knowledge sharing through online communities of practice”, Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 7 no. 1, pp. 64-77, 2006.
[50] R. Chu, Pressure of face and its reversal behaviour. Chinese Social Psychological Review, pp. 161-185. Beijing: Social Science Academic, 2006a.
[51] R. Chu, “Social interactions among the Chinese: On the issue of face, Chinese Social Psychological Review, pp. 79-106. Beijing: Social Science Academic, 2006b.
[52] H. Hu, “The Chinese concept of face”, American Anthropology, Vol. 46, pp. 45-64, 1994.
[53] G. Von Krogh, “Care in knowledge creation”, California Management Review, Vol. 40 no. 3, 33-53, 1998.
[54] A. Usoro, W. Sharratt, E. Tsui, and S. Shekhar, “Trust as an antecedent to knowledge sharing in virtual communities of practice”, Knowledge Management Research & Practice, Vol. 5 no. 3, 199-212, 2007.
[55] G. Martinsons, and M. Davidson, “Strategic decision making and support systems: Comparing American, Japanese and Chinese management”, Decision Support Systems, Vol. 43 no. 1, 284-300, 2007.
[56] E. Okoro, P. Cardon, and B. Marshall, Horizontal and Vertical Individualist and Collectivist Tendencies Among African American and European American Management Students, Proceedings of the 2008 Association for Business Communication Annual Convention, 2008.
[57] H. Triandis, Individualism and collectivism. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1995.
[58] M. Morris, D. Davis, and J. Allen, “Fostering corporate entrepreneurship: Cross cultural comparisons of the importance of individualism and collectivism. Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 25 no. 1, pp. 65-89, 1994.
[59] S. Michailova, and K. Hutchings, “Facilitating sharing in Russian and Chinese subsidiaries: The role of personal networks and group membership”, Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 8 no.2, pp. 84-94, 2004.
[60] R. Littrell, “Desirable leadership behaviours of multi-cultural managers in China”, Journal of Management Development, Vol. 21 no.1, pp.5-74, 2002.
[61] P. Vesa, “Knowledge sharing in a cross–cultural context: Nordic expatriates in Japan”, Knowledge Management Research & Practice, Vol. 4 no. 2, pp. 138-148.
[62] I. Arpaci, and M. Baloglu, “The impact of cultural collectivism on knowledge sharing among information technology majority undergraduates. Computer in Human Behavior”, Vol. 56, pp. 65-71, 2016.
[63] K. Doyle, Introduction to survey methodology and design. Retrieved 15/6/2014 from, 2003.
[64] S. Choi, Y. Kang, and H. Lee, “The effects of socio–technical enablers on knowledge sharing: An exploratory examination”, Journal of Information Science, Vol. 34 no. 5, pp. 742-754, 2008.
[65] H. Lin, “Effects of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation on employee knowledge sharing intentions”, Journal of Information Science, Vol. 33 no. 2, pp.135-149, 2007.
[66] F. Cheung, K. Leung, J-X, Zhang, H-F, Sun, Y-Q. Gan, and W-Z. Song, “Indigenous Chinese personality constructs: Is the five–factor model complete?”, Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Vol. 32 no. 4, pp. 407-433, 2001.
[67] W. Li, A. Ardichvili, M. Maurer, T. Wentling, and R. Stuedemann, “Impact of Chinese culture values on knowledge sharing through online communities of practice”, International Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 3 no. 3, pp. 46-59, 2007.
[68] F. Chen, and S. West, “Measuring individualism and collectivism: The importance of considering differential components, reference groups, and measurement invariance”, Journal of Research in Personality, Vol. 42 no. 2, pp. 259-294, 2008.
[69] W. Lee, and S. Choi, “The role of horizontal and vertical individualism and collectivism in online consumers’ response toward persuasive communication on the web”, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Vol. 11 no. 1, pp.317-336, 2005.
[70] H. Triandis, and M. Gelfand, “Converging measurement of horizontal and vertical individualism and collectivism”, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 74, pp. 118-128, 1998.
[71] S. Shin, M. Ishman, and G. Sanders, “An empirical investigation of socio cultural factors of information sharing in China”, Information & Management, Vol. 44 no. 2, pp. 165-174, 2007.
[72] V, Hooff, and M. Huysman, “Managing knowledge sharing: Emergent and engineering approaches”, Information & Management, Vol. 46 no. 1, 1-8, 2009.
[73] J. Wang, and J. Yang, Study on knowledge sharing behavior in software development team. In Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Wireless Communications, Networking and Mobile Computing. IEEE, Dalian, 2008.