The effect of managers’ social power on employees’ knowledge-sharing behavior

[Deutscher Titel: Die Wirkung von sozialer Macht der Manager auf das Wissensteilungsverhalten der Mitarbeiter]

Li-Fen Liao
Knowledge-sharing in R&D departments: a social power and social exchange theory perspective
The International Journal of Human Resource Management, Volume 19, Issue 10, October 2008 , pages 1881 – 1895

Abstract: Sharing knowledge in an R&D team is one of the crucial ways of sustaining a competitive advantage. According to the social power theory, managers have five types of power to influence subordinates’ behavior (French and Raven 1959). This study examines managers’ social power influencing R&D employees’ knowledge-sharing behavior. The empirical model formed two nested models, one to assess the direct effect of managers’ social power on employees’ knowledge-sharing behavior, and the other to examine the indirect effect of using the mediated variable of trust.
Data gathered from 105 R&D employees were employed to examine the relationship. The results indicate that manager’s reward power and expert power have direct effects, while reference power and expert power have indirect effects. 

Keywords: institutional trust; knowledge sharing; social exchange; social power 

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© Routledge

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