When leader-member exchange leads to knowledge sharing: The roles of generalself-efficacy, team leader modeling, and LMX differentiation

Mee Sook Kim, Jean M. Phillips, Won Woo Park, Stanley M. Gully

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Social exchange theory suggests that team members are willing to share their knowledge with each other due to the reciprocity motive stimulated by high-quality exchange relationships with their leader (LMX). However, the relationship may not be this simple. Applying the social learning and self-efficacy elements of social cognitive theory, we propose that team members with higher general self-efficacy are more likely to share knowledge with their teammates when they also enjoy high-quality LMX with the leader. In addition, we hypothesize that this effect is stronger when team members learn how to effectively share knowledge by observing their leader share knowledge or when the variances in LMX qualities within a team (LMX differentiation) are smaller. We also propose that knowledge sharing has a meaningful impact on performance at the team level and hypothesize that team-level knowledge sharing is positively related to team-level performance. Using a field sample of 342 individuals in 56 teams, we find support for our model. These findings advance our understanding of when and why individuals are willing to reciprocate higher-quality LMX relationships by sharing their knowledge with other teammates, and the positive effect this has on team performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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