PurposeOrganizational learning relies on problem-solving as a way to generate new knowledge. Good problem solvers should adopt a problem-solving orientation (PSO) that analyzes the causes of problems to arrive at an effective solution. The purpose of this paper is to investigate this relevant, though underexplored, topic by examining two important antecedents of PSO: knowledge sharing mechanisms and transformational leaders’ support.Design/methodology/approachHierarchical linear modeling analyses were performed on a sample of 131 workers in 12 plants. A questionnaire was designed to collect data from shop-floor employees. Knowledge sharing was measured using the mechanisms of participative practices and standardized practices. Management support was assessed based on the extent to which supervisors engaged in transformational leadership.FindingsKnowledge sharing mechanisms are an antecedent of PSO behavior, but management support measured in terms of transformational leadership is not. However, transformational leadership affects the use of knowledge sharing mechanisms that, in turn, is positively related to PSO behavior.Practical implicationsThe research provides practical guidance for practitioners to understand how to manage knowledge in the workplace to promote employees’ PSO behaviors.Originality/valueThough problem-solving activities are intrinsic in any working context, PSO is still very much underrepresented and scarcely understood in knowledge management studies. This study fills this gap by investigating the antecedents of PSO behavior.
Journal of Knowledge Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 12, 2019
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