Employees choice of knowledge sharing tools in a global firm : a study of MNC employee's choice of formal or informal knowledge sharing tools
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- Master of Science 
Due to changes in the competitive landscape and increasing globalisation, resources and the most effective use of these has become the key to competitive advantage for most multinational firms. As employees are in the possession of unique knowledge and expertise, employees have become an important resource for firms, and thus efficient transfer of knowledge to other part of the organisation, has become vital for business survival (Lin and Joe 2012; Karkoulian and Mahseredjian 2012). Knowledge sharing is an emerging and increasingly popular theme within in the academic literature, where research has focused on the different impacts on employee’s willingness to share knowledge (Argote et al. 2003). However, little existing research has focused on the impacts on employees choice of knowledge sharing tools, thus this thesis aims to fill this gap in literature, by examining how established and emerging impacts on the willingness to share knowledge, namely intrinsic motivation, introjected motivation, external motivation, network centrality, intra-firm competition and the use of organisational rewards, impacts employees choice of formal or informal knowledge sharing tools in a local and global context of multinational companies. In addition the thesis aims to examine how the use of one type of knowledge sharing tool impacts the use of the other, meaning whether they substitute or complement each other. The research was conducted in the Norwegian subsidiary of the multinational ITcompany IBM, with respondents who worked on both local and global teams. Out of 650 possible respondents, we received 154 responses. The results revealed that contrary to our believes, motivation does not have a significant impact on employee’s choice of knowledge sharing tools, with the exception of external motivation, which was slightly significant for the use of informal knowledge sharing tools. The results also showed that the use of rewards had no impact on the choice of knowledge sharing tools. Intra-firm competition had a positive correlation with the use of formal knowledge sharing tools; however the level of employee’s network centrality had the highest effect on both the choice of formal and informal knowledge sharing tools. Additionally, the results showed that the two types of knowledge sharing tools complement each other, rather than having a substitution effect.
Masteroppgave (MSc) in Master of Science in International Management, Handelshøyskolen BI, 2014