Behavioral intention formation in knowledge sharing: Examining the roles of KMS
quality, KMS self-efﬁcacy, and organizational climate
, Yu-Wei Chuang
, Pei-Yi Chen
Department of Business Administration, National Central University, No. 300, Jung-da Rd., Jung-li City, Taoyuan 320, Taiwan, ROC
Center for General Education, Hsin Sheng College of Medical Care and Management, No. 418, Gaoping Sec., Zhongfeng Rd., Longtan Township, Taoyuan 325, Taiwan, ROC
Received 5 July 2011
Received in revised form 14 December 2011
Accepted 2 February 2012
Available online 11 February 2012
Firms can obtain competitive advantages from their employees’ knowledge sharing behaviors. This paper
presents a research model to examine the direct and indirect effects of knowledge management systems
(KMS) quality, KMS self-efﬁcacy, organizational climate and attitude on the intention to share knowledge
in the new product development process. The hypotheses are tested on data collected from 134 major
electronic manufacturing ﬁrms in Taiwan, using partial least squares regression. The results of the empir-
ical study suggest that attitude is the key factor inﬂuencing intention to engage in knowledge sharing.
The more a factor (such as KMS self-efﬁcacy and organizational climate) positively contributes to atti-
tude, the more the factor contributes to knowledge sharing. The ﬁndings provide useful insights into
how organizations should encourage employees’ collaborative behaviors or activities so as to reinforce
KMS self-efﬁcacy create a favorable organizational climate that will in turn enhance attitude and inten-
tion to engage in knowledge sharing leading to beneﬁts for the organization as a whole.
Ó 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Knowledge sharing has become a key determinant of a ﬁrm’s
competitive advantage [3,11,91]. The primary objective of knowl-
edge sharing research and practices is to facilitate effective knowl-
edge ﬂow among organizational members [65,91]. Firms must
continue to improve their skills and competencies by accumulating
and sharing knowledge [71,85]. To improve intra-organizational
coordination, product quality, and ﬁrm performance, ﬁrms often
demand that different organizational units such as production,
marketing, and R&D departments implement common processes
which often require the sharing of knowledge. Intra-organizational
studies have shown that knowledge sharing is the fundamental
basis for creating collective knowledge in intra-organizational net-
works [16,38,72,78]. Through knowledge sharing, differently func-
tioning departments are able to build a jointly held knowledge
base, which enhances mutual understanding [16,38,72,78] and im-
proves coordination efﬁciency [72,90]. Knowledge sharing within a
ﬁrm has become a common practice because it enhances the com-
petitive advantage of the organization as a whole [3,91].
Knowledge sharing is particularly relevant in the new product
development (NPD) process , because this process involves
complex and interdependent tasks . The product development
process is composed of a series of activities involved in conceptual-
izing, planning, designing, and commercializing a product [14,95].
These activities involve a great amount of knowledge exchange
[14,15]. The team members for NPD are often made up of multiple
units such as R&D, marketing, production, sales, and purchasing.
Knowledge sharing depends on continuous interaction and
communication. Huang  proposed an evolutionary theory in
which organizational knowledge creation is a self-organizing pro-
cess, where knowledge is shared by means of interaction and com-
munication ﬂows between individuals, groups, departments, and
organizational boundaries. Maruta  emphasizes that through
knowledge sharing, individuals are able to access appropriate
knowledge resources from others, and then create new knowledge
by combining existing knowledge with their intrinsic insight. In-
sight refers to the capability to obtain a desired outcome through
selecting appropriate knowledge and integrating it with related
knowledge. Good insight and knowledge exchange activities will
facilitate the realization of product innovation and productivity
improvement . In other words, successful teamwork in NPD pro-
jects depends on the interaction and knowledge sharing between
team members, which leads to superior NPD performance .
To achieve the advantages of knowledge sharing, it is of strate-
gic value for ﬁrms to understand the factors that affect knowledge
sharing behaviors and cooperation during the NPD process. A re-
view of the intra-organizational literature reveals that most stud-
ies of the relationships among the business units of a multi-unit
company have focused on factors that directly affect knowledge
sharing behavior, whereas few have examined the interactive ef-
fects that affect knowledge sharing and these relationships [14,42].
0950-7051/$ - see front matter Ó 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Corresponding author. Tel.: +886 3 422 7151x66103; fax: +886 7 3465568.
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org (Y.-W. Chuang).
Knowledge-Based Systems 31 (2012) 106–118
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